Travel Budget Worksheet

Are you planning a major trip? Will you be able to stay within your budget? Rather than just spending without a plan and then dealing with the debt for the next few years, use our travel budget template to list your travel expenses. It will help you estimate your total travel costs and see if you will be able to take your trip without going over budget.

Travel Budget Worksheet | Travel Cost Estimator

License : Private Use (not for distribution or resale)

Authors: Jon Wittwer and Jim Wittwer


This travel budget template makes it easy to enter your travel expenses for your next trip. The top section allows you to set a total budget, and as you enter your travel costs you can quickly see where the money is going, how much extra you'll have, or how much you'll need to add to your budget.

The worksheet is set up to let you enter a quantity and unit cost for each item. For example, for lodging you can enter the number of nights you will be staying and the cost per night. If you will be driving rather than flying, you can enter the total miles and the cost per mile. Remember to include both fuel and wear as part of the cost (see the link below for what the IRS uses as the standard mileage rate - $0.56/mile in 2014).

Additional Resources

  • Be sure to check out our Travel Itinerary and Packing List templates.
  • IRS Publication showing Standard Mileage Rates at - You might consider using the standard mileage rate if you are estimating the cost of driving.
  • Tips for Creating a Budget for Travel at - This article is actually a really good resource to help you remember what to consider when budgeting for a trip.

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How to Make a Travel Budget in 2023 [Free Template]

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How to Make a Travel Budget in 2023 [Free Template]

Table of Contents

Can you afford to travel, the 2 approaches to travel budgets, travel budget template worksheet, travel budget considerations, websites to help research travel costs, the best apps for travel budgets and expense tracking, saving for your vacation, final thoughts.

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Creating a travel budget isn’t all about boring spreadsheets and searching for low budget bargains — a finely-crafted budget it is designed to maximize your total travel experience.

Let’s start out easy here. You may have dreams of globetrotting and living your best life in distant lands, but can you actually afford it?

The amount you have to spend on your trip will need to be proportionate to the place you are visiting. By that, we mean that some destinations can be done on the cheap, while others will be a bit more of an investment.

Where you want to stay, what you intend to do when you get there, and physically how far away you will be from home can all have a considerable bearing on how deep your pockets will need to be.

Before you book yourself silly, really break down the potential costs of your dream trip and tally it up with the amount of money you will realistically have to fund it.

Bottom Line: Sometimes, it may be better to put your plans on hold until you have saved up enough cash to really experience a place, rather than rushing to get there and missing out on some of the best bits.

Whether you are a plan-well-in-advance sort of traveler or more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, there are different ways to approach setting out your budget based on what works best for you.

Plan Your Adventure Well in Advance

The most traditional way to book a vacation is to think of somewhere you want to go, plan your vacation dates, and decide how long you want to stay. This kind of advanced planning is the usual go-to for most travelers, as it allows you to book time off of work or plan trips around school semesters, and gives you the opportunity to firm up plans before you leave.

Knowing when and where you are going also has another key advantage — it gives you plenty of time to save up all the cash you will need to really enjoy your time there. Booking in advance also means you get your choice of cheaper accommodation at better rates.

Book months in advance and you can research your planned itinerary and potential expenditure, and maybe even save enough extra for upgrades of luxuries to make your adventure truly special. This kind of planning is a great incentive for saving hard.

Travel Based on Your Bank Balance

If, on the other hand, you want to take your cash and get the hell out of dodge, you can work backward to identify the most amount of fun you can have for your money. If you are feeling lucky, and you know how much you are willing to spend, the world really is your oyster.

The awesome power of the internet has made impulse traveling even easier, as you can simply hit up any number of booking sites to find an exciting destination, as well as suitable flights, accommodation, and excursions in just a few clicks.

Another great way to make your budget go further is to think outside the box. Visiting popular destinations out of season, taking shorter vacation times, or even looking at places away from the main tourist trail can all make your money go further.

A trip to the legendary Yosemite National Park during April or May, for example, is a great way to experience some of the most iconic open spaces in America before the schools let out, or hit the beaches of Miami or the Florida Keys during September and October when tourists shy away from the increased risk of stormy weather.

You can also look at alternatives to the more traditional resort destinations to get more bang for your buck. Consider a trip to Reno instead of Las Vegas, hit the slopes in Winter Park instead of the sky-high prices in Vail, or take in the history of Williamsburg and avoid the price tags of New York or Los Angeles on your next city break.

Globe on Desk with Travel Money

To help you plan and keep track of your travel budget we have created a free, handy Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

📋  Click to Download Our Travel Budget Template >  📋

When planning your travel budget, there are lots of different things to consider. Break down your budget into subsections to make it easier to plan and stick to:

Passport and Visas

One of the most essential elements of your travel plan will revolve around the legal and local requirements for travel to and from your destination. You must research any visa requirements and restrictions before you fly, and be sure to have all the documentation you need before you leave.

Most countries will have their own individual and very specific entry requirements, and there may be restrictions on how much local currency you can bring with you, as well as how long you can stay.

As a very rough guide, some examples of the requirements for U.S. citizens could include:

  • Travel to Europe — If you are traveling to or through any of the main 26 European countries, you must know the requirements of the Schengen Agreement, which eliminates borders and assumes that travelers will be able to enjoy up to 3-months of visa-free travel. This will change in January 2021 with the introduction of the ETIAS .
  • Travel to Australia — You must have a valid U.S. passport and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enjoy up to 90 days of travel in Australia.
  • Travel to Central America — You will not need a visa to visit most Central American countries, but you may need a tourist card for some destinations (~$10) to allow stays of up to 90 days visa-free.
  • Travel To South Africa — You must have a valid U.S. passport, but do not need a visa for stays of 30 days or less.

Check out our guide to tourist visa information on over 100 countries.

Travel Insurance

There are many great reasons why you should always buy travel insurance coverage for your trips overseas, and only 1 reason not to. Trust us. If the worst should happen while you are away, you will wish you hadn’t tried to save money by skipping on the insurance, so make sure you always make space for travel insurance in your travel budget .

The best travel insurance policy does not necessarily have to be the most expensive one you find, but it probably won’t be the cheapest either. With this in mind, shop around and speak to a variety of providers before committing to any 1 product.

There will be different levels of coverage available to suit the requirements of every type of traveler, from lone backpackers to family vacations, but at the very least you should try to include:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Repatriation expenses
  • Cancellation or curtailment coverage
  • Lost baggage coverage
  • Travel delay/missed departure coverage
  • Journey disruption coverage
  • Personal liability coverage
  • Legal expenses coverage
  • Electronics loss/theft and damage coverage

Depending on where you go, what you’ll be doing, and the nature of your trip, you may want to also consider dedicated financial protection that could include specific coverage for:

  • Winter sports coverage
  • Terrorism disruption coverage
  • Cruise coverage
  • Business coverage
  • Sports equipment coverage

It is important to remember that the domestic health insurance that you use at home will not necessarily cover you if you get into medical trouble overseas . Don’t leave it to chance — invest wisely in your travel insurance and never skimp on the coverage just to save yourself a few bucks before you go.

You should also look into insurance coverage for your prized electrical items and personal belongings, too . While we would recommend leaving the diamonds at home, unless you are going somewhere exceptionally glamorous, many of us will take expensive electronics with us everywhere we go.

Find coverage that offers repairs or replacement for damaged, broken, lost, or stolen items before you go.

Hot Tip: There are some credit cards with travel insurance , so you might already have some coverage without knowing it!

map of world syringe vaccination


Some parts of the world pose more of a risk to our health than others. By ensuring that you have all the travel vaccinations you need before you go, you can reduce the risk of developing serious diseases that your immune system may not be used to.

You can pretty much be vaccinated against all of the world’s most common communicable diseases at your local doctor’s office, health care center, or health department, and there will be medical professionals who will be able to provide you with useful information for your trip.

You will need to do your own research before you travel and speak to healthcare providers about the risks. But, as a rough guide to keep in mind when planning your travel budget, here are some of the most common travel vaccinations and their approximate costs:

  • Cholera — A single-dose oral vaccine costs around $45.
  • Hepatitis A — A single-dose vaccine costs around $115.
  • Japanese Encephalitis — 2 doses given 4 weeks apart costs around $290 per injection.
  • Meningococcal Disease — This single-dose vaccine is recommended from pre-teenage years and costs around $135.
  • Rabies — A series of 3 or 4 injections into the muscles over the course of 4 weeks costs around $3000 for the entire course.
  • Typhoid Fever — A single oral dose for anyone over 6 years old costs around $60.
  • Yellow Fever — This vaccine is not stocked everywhere, but if you can find a clinic that offers it, you will need a single shot costing as much as $350.
  • Malaria — There is no single vaccine, but antimalarial tablets can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting the disease by 90%. These may need to be taken as far as 3 months in advance and can cost anything from $20 a pack up to $260 per pack.

Clothes, Gear, and Toiletries

What you need to take with you will depend very much on where you headed. Whether you choose to travel light or max out your luggage allowance is up to you, but there are plenty of ways to help keep costs down when it comes to packing for your next adventure.

Compile a Capsule Wardrobe

Travel guides always bang on about the legendary “capsule wardrobe” — but it literally is a real thing. By taking 7 or 8 items of clothing with you that can be worn in a variety of ways you can dress for days at a time without worrying about overfilling your luggage or maxing out your travel budget.

Choose 2 pants, skirts or jeans, 3 tops, 1 sweater, 1 dress or a smart shirt and a coat or jacket, and you should be pretty much good to go. Throw in beachwear, sports gear, or thermals as-needed and some socks and underwear to see yourself sorted for the duration of your stay.

Another way to keep costs down is to avoid buying new stuff for every vacation . Your favorite bikini, flip flops, party dress, or even hoodie should be shown off time and time again, so never feel the need to replace your vacation clothing unless you really need to.

Here are some destination-specific packing lists:

  • Beach Vacation Packing List
  • Cruise Vacation Packing List
  • Disney Vacation Packing List

If you want to take your travel camera with you, your GoPro for awesome live video, your phone, tablet, laptop, headphones , or any other bits of kit — think carefully about whether or not you really need it.

Taking more expensive gear with you increases the risk of stuff getting lost, broken, or stolen, as well as weighing your luggage down and tying you to charging ports and electrical sockets.

Keeping Clean

Most people like to have their favorite toiletries with them, but save money and space in your luggage by not taking full-size products.

You needn’t even worry about wasting money on cute little travel size products either. Simply decant your full-size bottles and pots into smaller travel containers instead . This is super easy to do, meets with TSA regulations, and saves you a few dollars here and there.

Alternatively, buy what you need when you arrive. Most destinations and airports will have plenty of shops to choose from. One area where you shouldn’t cut costs, however, is sunscreen. Buy the best you can, ideally from a trusted brand, before you leave.

Finally, check if the airline you are using charges extra for checked baggage and if so, see if you can get away with just a carry-on case instead.

The amount you pay for your flights will vary widely depending on a wide number of variants, including:

  • Your destination
  • Who you choose to fly with
  • Whether you fly direct
  • Whether you fly return or one-way
  • The day of the week and time of day that you fly, and even the time of year
  • Where you fly from
  • When you book

There are many different ways to fly around the skies, but here are some ways to bag cheaper flights :

  • Use Points and Miles — If you aren’t accumulating points to fly, read this beginner’s guide to get started.
  • Book as Early as You Can — Flights often significantly increase in price within 3 weeks of the departure date.
  • Stay Flexible — Flights leaving on different days or at times of day can be cheaper than others.
  • Don’t Dismiss Discount Airlines — Short journeys, internal flights, and even some international journeys can be way cheaper on discount, no-frills airlines.
  • Sign Up and Shop Around — Sign up with airlines direct to be notified of discounts and flash sales, and be sure to check in on all airlines that fly to your preferred destination.
  • Use Aggregation Sites — Sometimes this is a winner, sometimes it isn’t — but don’t be afraid to try. Sites like Kayak or Skyscanner can be good, but don’t just accept the first price they give you.
  • Buy Connecting Flights — It can be cheaper to buy 2 separate connecting flights than a direct 1. Check your destination and see who stops where along the route.


Again, how much you spend on where you stay is entirely up to you. Keeping costs down can be harder in large cities or expensive beach resorts, but there are ways to rest your head without losing your mind over the cost of it all.

Whether you are going for an all-out 5-star luxury or a family-friendly motel room, there are always deals to be had. Book direct through the hotel, include weeknights or a Sunday night in your stay, and be flexible on location.

Hot Tip: A hotel just outside of town, for example, will offer more attractive nightly rates and free parking and will usually represent better value for money than a downtown hotel will.

Renting a private home or vacation apartment on a short term basis can be much more affordable than a hotel. You can also find some superb properties for rent, complete with everything you need to enjoy your stay.

Fully-equipped kitchens, parking, TVs, and even pools often come standard and depending on your destination, there are lots of great Airbnbs and other holiday rental websites available.

If you are heading to the coast, the backcountry, or just getting out into the great outdoors, camping can completely transform your experience. Many campsites come complete with showers and cooking facilities and even pools, sports facilities, and fitness centers. You can take your own tent or rent one.

Another great way to save money on accommodation is to look at hostels in the area. A far cry from old fashioned student accommodation, many modern hostels are clean, bright, and modern and offer a combination of dorm-style bedrooms and private double or family rooms with en-suite facilities.

Hot Tip: Hostels are a great way to stay right in the middle of some of the most expensive cities in the world.

Rent a Recreational Vehicle

Another great choice if you are heading out on the open road, RVs can save you a fortune as you literally take your accommodation with you. RV trips are fun, family-friendly, and provided you aren’t always in a gas station, a great way to save money on where you stay.

RVshare and Outdoorsy are 2 companies that rent out campers and RVs.

You can pretty much rent any kind of vehicle , anywhere in the world. Although if you are staying in a city, public transport is a much more useful and affordable proposition.

The same rules also apply to some intercontinental trips, as well. For example, it can be easier and cheaper to travel through Europe using trains and buses than worrying about having to take care of a car when you get there.

If you want to explore out of the way destinations, hard to reach beaches, or just like the idea of being free to come and go as you please, car hire is readily available in most corners of the world.

Before you commit to it, think about the rental fees, fuel costs, and other potential expenditures and compare the costs of using public transport in your chosen destination.

Car Rental

Car hire here in the U.S. will vary depending on the type of car you choose and how long you intend to hire it. Small city cars are the most cost-effective, and big SUVs, 4x4s and luxury cars can also be hired if you have deep pockets.

When it comes to car rental, keep your costs down by:

  • Booking your vehicle in advance
  • Looking outside the airport as you may get a better deal in town
  • Choosing a practical vehicle to suit your needs, not your dream supercar
  • Being aware of mileage limits and one-way fees
  • Use a credit card with car rental insurance , so you can be ready to turn down unnecessary add-ons and cross-sells that you don’t need
  • Making sure the vehicle is checked for damage before you take the keys
  • Only hiring it for as long as you need it
  • Keeping your eyes out for deals on particular types of car, and better prices for longer-term rentals

Local Transportation

Most tourist hotspots, big towns, cities, and even some iconic landmarks will offer a wide range of public transport options to get you around. There will be more choice and more frequent services in highly populated areas, while services may become more restricted further out in the countryside or suburbs.

If you are clever, you could save yourself a small fortune by grabbing good deals on public transport, leaving you with more cash to spend on the fun things in life.

Try these to tips for traveling around town on the cheap:

  • Buy daily, weekly or even monthly travel passes in advance
  • Bulk buy tickets online or via an app
  • Take advantage of student passes or discounted fares for families, seniors, or children
  • Avoid traveling during peak commuter times
  • Services like Greyhound offer cheaper fares for mid-week journeys
  • Sign up for early notification of flash sales and other promotional codes and discounts

Attractions and Activities

Wherever you are headed, there will no doubt be plenty of things to do and places to see when you get there. The key to not missing a single thing is researching everything before you leave.

Have a plan in place of all the activities you want to take part in and the attractions you want to see and integrate the potential entrance costs, additional fees, and other expenses into your initial budget.

With a bit of luck, you will be able to find plenty of local discounts, city passes, and money-saving ways to see all of the very best attractions at rock bottom prices.

Pick up a copy of the local listings magazine or newspaper and check out free events , as well as using the coupons and discount codes they supply for all kinds of attractions. You can also subscribe to online discount sites like Groupon to find discounted ticket prices.

Historical landmarks, museums , art galleries, theme parks , sporting events, concerts, and many more attractions often offer reduced entrance prices at off-peak times or group discounts to entice visitors in. Some even have a free entrance day once a month.

Big cities often have lots of free entertainment on offer, too. Check out the artsy districts of major cities for street entertainers and free shows. If you are heading to the beach, research costs such as sunbed rental, locker rental, and even the menus at local restaurants to gauge an idea of how much a day on the beach could potentially cost you.

If you want to try your hand at surfing, sailing, or other kinds of water sports, you may want to get back on the internet and find reduced price lessons or discounts for group bookings.

Colosseum during daytime

Walk-Around Money

While you may have budgeted every dollar down to the last cent, you should also keep a contingency plan for some pocket money . Days out in the town, lazy afternoons on the beach, or even a trip on a planned excursion can present you with lots of little unknown expenses.

Whether you need to buy an extra bottle of water, some sunscreen for your face, or entrance to additional attractions, keeping a little cash on you is a good way to be prepared.

Large amounts of cash should never be carried about your person while you are out exploring, but a couple of dollars stashed into your pocket or travel wallet and can be incredibly useful.

In order to keep your money safe, you should:

  • Never flash wads of cash
  • Keep your notes and loose change somewhere safe like your inside pocket or in a money belt
  • Carry small denomination notes and coins
  • Understand the local currency you are carrying, so you known how much to give over when paying

Walk-around money is simply a little buffer to keep you going, but set yourself a daily budget and stick to it.

Gifts and Souvenirs

These days, almost everyone travels at some point. This means that those unusual and unique products that we used to buy as souvenirs are no longer as sought after as they once were.

Nearly every tourist destination on earth will be able to sell you tacky bits and pieces for you to take home, but savvy travelers bypass these and look for more personalized and unique mementos to take home with them instead.

Bottom Line: A t-shirt here, a guide book there, and lots of little bits and pieces in between can soon add up. Spend wisely, and if you must buy gifts and souvenirs, choose ones that have a special meaning to you, that you can treasure forever.

To help make your research easier, some clever folks who have traveled before you have made websites that can help you to research and plan every single aspect of your next big adventure and what the costs involved may be.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip is a huge repository of travel costs that have been hand-gathered from thousands of travelers, and now provides an incredibly comprehensive guide to how much your trip will really cost you.

You can create and personalize your very own travel budget once you register with the website. You can also pick up tons of top travel tips and advice for both new and experienced travelers alike.

Nomad List offers a heap of resources and information for remote workers, digital nomads, and travelers, Nomad List is designed to help users navigate the world. Find information on thousands of destinations, places to work, neighborhoods to stay, and even make new friends before you go.

A great site for anyone who wants to work and travel for longer-term adventures, you can ask questions and arrange meet-ups to touch base with other like-minded wanderers.

This clever little website has 1 goal in mind — to let you know exactly how much money you really need to stay at your dream destination. Expatistan offers direct comparisons between different locations and the website is essentially a giant cost-of-living database that is updated and improved on a regular basis.

Using collaborative information garnered from expats from all over the world, this website really will give you the lowdown of where you can, and can’t, afford to be.

Keeping track of your expenses using your bank balance alone can be a real pain. A dedicated travel money app will help you to keep control of your finances, even when you can’t check the internet. Here are some of the best:

Trail Wallet

Trail Wallet

This easy to use expense tracker is a great way to keep an accurate record of your finances on the go. Designed to be incredibly intuitive and easy to use, you can make a note of all your expenses in a way that makes the best sense to you. Set up daily spending limits, view records of your recent outgoings, and upload images of receipts for multiple trips with custom start and end dates.

Perfect for use both at home and away, this clever little app will even let you input amounts in local currencies from over 200 countries , and you can update the app with the current exchange rate.

Trail Wallet can be used on both iPhone and iPad and is free for up to 25 items, or unlock unlimited amounts for continuous travel with the $4.99 upgrade.

Trabee Pocket

Trabee Pocket

Trabee Pocket is available on both iOS and Android, and you can choose between the free version or additional services in the paid-for version. Even with the basic version, you can add the details of as many expenses as you like, covering various trips and destinations. You can choose your currency, and there are 8 basic categories to file your virtual expenses under.

You can add images of the physical receipt and produce an expense report and breakdown of expenditure using the data from each category . The upgrade costs around $2.49, and you can add multiple currencies and additional customized categories.

All in all, Trabee Pocket is sleek and an easy to use app that helps you to see how much you are spending and where you are spending it.


TripCoin is a concise and easy to use app that is available on iOS only. It is free to download , and there are no upgrade options at the present time. This smart app allows you to keep tabs on your spending at the touch of a button while making is super easy to add new entries when you need to.

Summary reports can quickly be compiled to let you see progress reports and spreadsheets, and you can even export the data to Excel, Numbers, Open Office, or Google to keep your inner accountant happy anywhere in the world.

Wally App

Wally was designed to help anyone to manage their finances, anywhere in the world easily. It promises to offer a simple, seamless tool that works in an intuitive way, making it super easy to keep track of your money on the move.

The basic version allows you to add details of all of your regular incoming and outgoings as well as inputting your day to day expenditure, creating groups to manage joint accounts, and splitting payments with your friends when you need to.

It can be set to your local currency and lets you divide your outgoings into easy to find pre-set categories. Available on both iOs and Android, you can upgrade to the paid-for version for $24.99 a year to enjoy unlimited trips and categories.


This is a brilliant invention for anyone traveling with friends. Available on both iOS and Android, you can download it for free, but an in-app upgrade is available to Splitwise Pro. No more scrambling around with a pen and paper to split the bill, this app allows you and your buddies to keep track of your shared expenses and balances at the touch of a button.

You can add a bill, and choose how to split it, or send text or email requests to remind your friends and family that payments are now due. You can also categorize your expenses, calculate amounts in over 100 different currencies, and even sync all of your expenditures with the Cloud.

If you want to keep a more detailed record of your accounts, this little app will also export the data into easy to read CSV reports.

Before you worry about how to manage your finances while you are away, you will need to devise a plan that gives you the funds to get you there in the first place. Unless you have been blessed with a sudden windfall or a lottery win, you will need to save your cents to achieve your goals.

Set a Savings Timeline

If you receive a regular wage, or you are able to forecast your earnings accurately, you can start to set a timeline on how long it will take you to save up for your vacation . If you put aside just $100 a month, for example, you will be able to have $1200 to play with in just a year. This amount may not pay for a new life abroad, but it could you buy a week by the ocean.

Bottom Line: Think of where you want to go to, find out how much it will cost, and then set a monthly savings goal and stick to it. Some months you may have to sacrifice on your social life or shopping habits, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Multiple Savings Accounts

Once you know how much you need to save each month, be sure to physically remove that money from your day to day bank account. Set up at least 1 separate savings account and electronically move it , or set up an automated payment to leave your regular account on payday.


Re-train your brain to save instead of spend, and you will be able to tally up every cent you save with something amazing . Your first $150 saved, for example, could mean that you have those tickets for that boat party in Miami in the bag, or that you are on your way to paying for a 4-star hotel instead of a mid-range one.

Whether you are dreaming of trekking up the Himalayas, backpacking around Asia, Interailing through Europe , or a long-awaited family vacation, seeing what your savings can afford will super motivate you to save more.

Wherever you are planning on traveling to, being in control of your finances will make your experience even more amazing. Worrying about getting into debt on your credit cards or not having the cash in your pocket to really explore the region will ruin your adventures.

Save hard, spend well, and look for ways to save money across every aspect of your trip. Plan your spending before you go and keep track of your expenditure while you travel. There are deals to be had on flights, accommodation, food, attractions, and almost every area of your next vacation. Plan in advance and enjoy knowing that you are having the best time for less.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can i travel with a low budget.

There are plenty of excellent places to travel on a low budget. Here are some great options:

  • South Africa

How much should I budget for a trip?

There are lots of factors that make up how much you should budget for a trip. Where you are going, the time of year, your travel style, what you want to do, and how long are you going for are just some of the considerations. It’s best to work out exactly what the trip would cost, cut out anything you can do without, and go from there.

How do I stick to a budget while traveling?

The best way to stick to a budget while traveling is to keep track of all your expenses so you know exactly where you are against your budget. The easiest way of doing this is to use a travel budget and expenses up like Trail Wallet, Trabee Pocket, or Tripcoin.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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A Travel Budget Template is a pre-organized format used by travelers to estimate and track the expenses of a trip. This template typically includes categories such as transportation, accommodation, food, activities, and emergency funds.

It allows travelers to allocate their funds efficiently, ensuring that all aspects of the trip are covered financially without overspending. By using a travel budget template, individuals can plan their trips more effectively, making it easier to enjoy their experiences without financial stress.

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Disney Vacation Budget Template

What is a Travel Budget?

A travel budget is a financial planning tool that outlines the expected costs associated with a trip, including transportation, accommodation, food, activities, and any other expenses. It serves as a roadmap to manage spending, ensuring that travelers can enjoy their experiences without financial stress.

By carefully itemizing and allocating funds for various aspects of the trip, individuals can make informed decisions, prioritize spending, and find ways to save, making travel both enjoyable and affordable.

Monthly Travel Budget Template

Elements of a Travel Budget

A comprehensive travel budget should include several key categories to ensure all costs are accounted for.

The main elements to consider are:

  • Transportation : This covers all travel costs to your destination and within it, including flights, trains, buses, car rentals, and local public transport.
  • Accommodation : Budget for hotels, hostels, vacation rentals, or camping fees, depending on your preference and the nature of your trip.
  • Food and Drink : Estimate daily spending on meals, snacks, and beverages. This can vary widely depending on whether you plan to eat out at restaurants or prepare your food.
  • Activities and Entry Fees : Include the cost of admission for attractions, tours, museums, parks, or events you plan to attend.
  • Shopping and Souvenirs : Allocate a portion of your budget for shopping, gifts, and souvenirs to bring back home.
  • Emergency Fund : Always have a contingency fund for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

Remember, planning and allocating your budget wisely can lead to a more enjoyable and stress-free travel experience.

Study Abroad Travel Budget Template

Importance of Travel Budget

Crafting a travel budget is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that your travel expenses are well-planned and accounted for, preventing you from overspending or facing financial difficulties during or after your trip.

A well-structured budget also allows travelers to make informed decisions about their destinations, accommodation, transportation, and activities, ensuring that they can enjoy their trip without the stress of mounting debts. Additionally, having a budget encourages travelers to explore cost-effective options, potentially leading to more authentic and enriching travel experiences, as they look beyond tourist traps and high-priced attractions.

Travel Budget Vacation Worksheet

Common Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid

Budgeting is an important aspect of personal finance that helps individuals and families manage their finances effectively. However, budgeting can be a challenging task for many people, and mistakes are often made. In this section, we will discuss some common budgeting mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Setting Clear Financial Goals

Failing to define clear, achievable goals can lead to a lack of direction in your spending and saving habits. Without goals, it’s challenging to measure progress or find the motivation to budget effectively.

2. Underestimating Expenses

One of the most common mistakes is not accounting for all expenses, both fixed and variable. This can lead to overspending and not having enough funds allocated for savings or unexpected costs.

3. Overlooking the Importance of an Emergency Fund

Neglecting to build and maintain an emergency fund can put you in a vulnerable position in case of sudden financial needs. An adequate emergency fund covers 3-6 months of living expenses.

4. Failing to Adjust the Budget

A budget isn’t set in stone. It requires regular review and adjustments to reflect changes in income, expenses, and financial goals. Not updating your budget can lead to overspending or not making the most of potential savings.

5. Ignoring Small Expenses

Small, seemingly insignificant expenses can add up quickly, derailing your budget. It’s essential to track these expenditures to gain a comprehensive view of your spending habits.

Benefits of Using a Travel Budget

Creating and sticking to a travel budget has several key benefits that can make your trips more enjoyable and stress-free.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Financial Control : A travel budget helps you take charge of your finances, ensuring you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on your trip. This minimizes the risk of overspending and potential financial stress.
  • Better Planning : When you allocate a specific amount of money for different aspects of your trip, such as accommodation, food, and activities, it forces you to research options and make decisions in advance. This can lead to a smoother, more organized travel experience.
  • More Travel Opportunities : By saving money on one trip through effective budgeting, you might find yourself with surplus funds that can be used for future travels. Budgeting effectively allows your travel funds to go further.
  • Prioritize Spending : A travel budget helps you determine your priorities. If you know you want to splurge on a special excursion or a luxurious dinner, you can plan to save in other areas, ensuring you’re spending money on what matters most to you.
  • Unexpected Expenses : A good travel budget includes a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. This can give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re prepared for any mishaps without blowing your budget.

Tips for Saving Money While Traveling

Traveling can be one of life’s greatest joys, but it often comes at a steep cost. However, with smart planning and strategic choices, you can significantly reduce your expenses and enjoy more for less.

Here are some effective tips for saving money while on the go:

Book in Advance

Booking your flights, accommodations, and even some activities in advance can lead to substantial savings. Airlines and hotels often offer early bird rates that are much lower than the prices closer to your travel date.

Travel During Off-Peak Seasons

Choosing to travel during the off-peak seasons can result in lower prices for flights and accommodations, as well as fewer crowds at popular destinations. This typically includes times outside of major holidays and school vacation periods.

Use Public Transportation

Public transportation is not only more environmentally friendly, but it’s also much cheaper than relying on taxis or renting a car. Many cities offer tourist passes for unlimited travel within a set period, which can be a great value.

Opt for Accommodations with Kitchen Facilities

Staying in accommodations that offer kitchen facilities can save you a lot of money on food. Even simple meals prepared at your temporary home can significantly reduce your overall travel expenses.

Seek Out Free Activities

Many destinations offer a wealth of free activities, from walking tours to museum entry days and natural wonders. Doing a bit of research before you go can uncover some fantastic experiences that won’t cost you a dime.

Use Discount Cards and Coupons

Look for discount cards specific to the area you are visiting, which can offer savings on a variety of attractions, dining, and even transportation. Coupons and promo codes can also be found for activities and restaurants.

How to Make a Travel Budget Template

Creating a travel budget template is essential for managing your expenses and ensuring you can enjoy your trip without financial stress. Follow these steps to make a comprehensive and user-friendly template:

  • Airfare or transportation costs
  • Accommodation expenses
  • Daily food and drink budget
  • Local transportation (rental car, public transit, taxis)
  • Activities and excursion fees
  • Miscellaneous (shopping, souvenirs, emergency funds)
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous
  • Allocate Funds : Decide how much money you will allocate to each category based on your total budget and the importance of each category to your travel experience.
  • Track Spending : Create a section in your template where you can log expenses during your trip. This can help you stay on budget and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Include a Buffer : Always include a buffer of 10-20% of your total estimated budget for unexpected expenses.
  • Review and Adjust : After your trip, review your spending to identify areas where you can save money in the future.

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How to Make a Travel Budget in 5 Easy Steps (Free Planner)

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Creating a travel budget may seem like a hassle, but it’ll actually make your vacation more enjoyable. Knowing that you’ve already planned out how you’re going to pay for everything will help you relax and have a good time.

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Many people enjoy traveling the world, exploring new places, or just relaxing in a tranquil environment.

Taking a vacation is a great way to reduce stress and improve productivity, but traveling can be costly. Making a travel budget will make a big difference while planning your next getaway.

Those who love to travel should incorporate it as a line item in their monthly budgets. Each month, set aside a certain amount for travel in its own separate account.

Earmark that money specifically as a vacation budget so that it can be spent guilt-free. Money that is put toward trip expenses can simply be reimbursed from the travel account.

With that said, if there is outstanding debt that is difficult to pay off, planning an immediate vacation may not be a good idea. In this case, the priority should be to set up an emergency fund that includes three-to-six months’ worth of living expenses.

Why Is Budgeting for a Vacation Important?

While it is good to get into the habit of setting aside vacation funds every month, it is also important to create a budget for each individual trip. This will help determine how long it will take to build up enough money in the vacation account to pay for that trip. It will also allow for logistics to be planned out, while staying on budget.

Scheduling and budgeting for vacations can be very enjoyable. Researching hotel accommodations, restaurants, and free things to do helps to build up anticipation. It can be fun for the whole family to spend time together, figuring out the different parts of an upcoming trip.

How to Budget for A Vacation in 5 Simple Steps

When it comes time to map out those vacation expenses, a few key steps will help lead to success and worry-free traveling. Begin by drafting a well-rounded vacation budget, focusing on expenses in the following five main categories. Once these are figured out, the rest of the details will fall into place.

1. Choose a destination and preferred date

Start by picking a destination and nailing down travel dates. Remember that some locations are more expensive to visit than others. The time of year can also make a difference in pricing. Traveling done at peak tourist times usually costs more than off-season trips.

Be flexible

Being flexible is one of the easiest ways to save when budgeting for a vacation. Check out multiple travel destinations and compare prices before settling on options for lodging and airfare. Since these are two of the largest expenses in any travel budget, keeping them in check will go a long way toward helping to keep the overall cost down.

Be willing to look at alternative accommodations or stay at a place that is a little farther away from the tourist areas. Remember that most vacation time is spent outside the hotel room – so there is no reason to put a large chunk of the budget toward nice accommodations that will be used only for sleep.

Also, be flexible when choosing a travel date. Many travel search engines have a “flexible dates” option that can be used to research the lowest prices for airfare and lodging. Plan around these dates for added savings in the travel budget.

Consider the season

The time of year can really impact a travel budget. A lot of people have begun to plan weddings around their honeymoons, and not vise versa. For example, if the goal is to travel to Italy without spending a fortune or facing large crowds of tourists – while still enjoying nice weather – get married in early autumn, which is known as the shoulder season. It’s a great time of year to travel, because the weather is still nice, but the crowds have thinned out. Most people with children travel during the summer. Once the kids are back in school, prices for airfare and accommodations tend to drop, allowing people with more flexibility to travel cheaper.

Related: Make Money Renting Your Home with Airbnb While You’re on Vacation

2. Make a list of your major expenses (use a travel budget worksheet)

When drafting a travel budget worksheet, plan for the biggest expenses, including transportation, accommodations, and food, first. Getting those out of the way will greatly aid in putting together the overall vacation budget.

Free Printable Travel Budget and Itinerary

Research cheap travel deals (transportation)

Transportation costs for trips that are taken close to home will not be very high. But when airfare comes into the picture, the transportation line item will increase dramatically. Research multiple airlines for cheap travel deals, and consider taking connecting flights to cut down on the cost. If it’s feasible, check out the price of flights leaving from airports in nearby cities.

Flights on airlines to and from major airport hubs are usually lower in cost. For example, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are both headquartered in Dallas. Flights on those airlines tend to be the cheapest travel to and from that area.

Research accommodations

Another large expense in any travel budget is lodging. There is a wide range of options to consider when it comes to picking out a place to stay, including hostels, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, or apartments. Or, if a trip includes camping, those accommodations can include cabins and tents.

Rather than being brand-loyal to a particular hotel, utilize travel sites like to compare costs at different chains. After all, most travel time is spent sightseeing and exploring, not inside the room.

The closer accommodations are to major attractions, the more expensive they will be. Consider staying somewhere off the beaten path to save money.

When traveling with a group of people, split the cost of accommodations. For example, rent a house or condo with multiple rooms and divide the costs. If your destination is more remote, consider renting an RV. For as low as $175 per night, you can comfortably sleep 10 adults and still come in under $20 per person per day.

Budget for food

One of the trickiest line items in a vacation budget is food. To save some money in this area, choose a place to stay that has a kitchen – or at least a refrigerator and microwave. Eat some meals there, and then splurge a few times by going out to eat at local restaurants.

Another great way to save money on food is to stay in a bed and breakfast or a hotel that includes breakfast. Some chains like Homewood Suites or DoubleTree offer both a kitchen area and a hot breakfast, which helps in saving money . Drinks bought while eating out can quickly add to a bill, so buy wine or beer for the room to keep that travel budget in check.

When budgeting for meals, try going out for lunch instead of dinner. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner, and many of the same options are offered for less. It is also usually not as tempting to order pricey alcoholic beverages during lunch.

Related: How to Find Cheap Gas Nearby (When You’re On the Go)

3. Make a list of smaller expenses

Once the larger expenses are planned out, figure out the extras, like sightseeing, entertainment, and gifts.

Research potential vacation activities and local places to visit. Go online to get an idea of the associated costs, and budget accordingly.

Don’t forget to plan for any necessary vaccines if traveling abroad, as well as gifts to take back home. Build a buffer into the budget to account for any surprise expenses. It’s always best to plan for more, and then spend less.

4. Determine the monthly savings

Once a rough vacation budget has been established, it’s time to figure out how to pay for it. Take the total amount and divide it by the number of months left until the trip. For example, if the vacation date is in nine months and the cost of the trip is approximately $2,700, $300 must be set aside every month.

If that amount seems too large, there are two options: adjust the timeline or make some extra money.

If necessary, push the trip out by a few months until enough money can be saved, or figure out how to bring in some extra income. There are many different ways to make money on the side, and help to reach that savings goal.

5. Vacation budgeting doesn’t end there

Those travel budgets won’t do much good if they aren’t followed. It is important to track costs and stay on top of spending while on vacation. Don’t stress out over every penny, but don’t go overboard, either. It wouldn’t be fun to see some nasty surprises on the bank or credit card statement later.

One of the easiest ways to track expenditures while traveling is with a budgeting tool like Personal Capital. Alternatively, keep on top of spending with an Excel spreadsheet or even with a pen and paper. Whatever the method, keep it updated and check it regularly.

Bonus Tip: Draft an itinerary

Travel Budget: Man Holding Passport

While it’s not necessary to create an itinerary when budgeting for a vacation, it really helps stay on track. The best way to do this is by using an Excel spreadsheet. Make a rough outline with a separate entry for each day of the vacation. Fill in all of the travel information and any scheduled activities like sightseeing tours.

Make a separate column to the side and list out all potential vacation activities. Group together any events that are in the same area of town and write down approximately how long each one would take. Now slot them in under the different day headers for either the morning or afternoon.

Try to group together activities or sightseeing that will occur in the same part of town. Food and restaurant options can be added in after the schedule is roughed out.

Itineraries are meant to be flexible, not restrictive. Move things around to find the right balance. Note the associated cost of each entry on the list.

Add all of the expenses together at the bottom of the spreadsheet to estimate the total travel budget. Remember that it’s not necessary to follow the itinerary word for word. Use it as a planning tool and focus on enjoying the trip.

Creating a Travel Budget Is Well Worth the Time

Even though it may seem like creating a travel budget can be a hassle, in the long run, it will make vacations far more enjoyable.

Having a vacation budget means not stressing about money after the trip. It allows for advanced planning and time to save up enough money. Budgeting for a vacation means that it will be easy to relax and have a good time, knowing that everything is in the budget and ready to be paid for.

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Travel Budget Templates in Google Sheets and Excel

Get the most out of your trip using our travel budget templates in google docs, sheets, word, and excel formats. plan all your expenses, including plane tickets, apartment or hotel booking, visas, car rental and others. choose from dozens of editable and printable designs in different colors.

Year Travel Budget for Family Template

Year Travel Budget for Family

Orange Business Travel Budget Template

Orange Business Travel Budget

Travel Budget

Bright Travel Budget

Cute Travel Budget

Yellow Travel Budget

Travel Budget With Clouds

Minimal Travel Budget

Pastel Travel Budget

Sea Travel Budget

Simple Travelling Budget

Paris Trip Budget

Traveling is always fun and interesting. However, travel is always associated with various kinds of expenses, which are best foreseen in advance. If you want to always be sure that you have chosen the right budget for your trip, then we recommend using any travel budgeting template from TheGoodocs . Our amazing Google Sheets templates are always the best option to save time and money.

Just imagine that you won't need to understand spreadsheet functionalities and built-in instruments, but you'll still get a professional, well-structured, and well-designed budget plan. We have a traveling budget template for any personal or business need. It does not matter if you work in a travel agency or just going on vacation and want to calculate its cost in advance. You will definitely find the right option only with us.

How do you like our offer? We advise you to study the list of advantages because of which our clients and visitors prefer our platform!

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Home » Google Sheets » 9 Best Free☝️ Google Sheets Travel Budget Templates for 2023

Daniel Smith

  • Updated: April 17, 2023

9 Best Free☝️ Google Sheets Travel Budget Templates for 2023

Planning for a vacation is undoubtedly one of the more exciting budgeting exercises you can do. Even a business trip can be an occasion to look forward to. 

However, a lack of proper planning can result in a flop of a holiday or a business trip rather than a fabulous or productive one. 

But that doesn’t have to be you. In this article, we review some of the best Google Sheets travel budget templates to help you prepare for your long-awaited break or business trip!

1. Free Downloadable Travel Budget Template

Free Downloadable Travel Budget Template

Designed by Vertex42

If your itinerary is going to be jam-packed with lots of stopovers and plenty of travel activities to see and do, the Free Downloadable Travel Budget Template by Vertex42 is an excellent option.

It is so user-friendly and ideally suited to travel planning, with a graph that depicts the sum totals of your budget categories so that you can view how these costs are going without necessarily having to go back to the drawing board to establish where you overspend.

2.Daily Travel Budget Template

Daily Travel Budget Template

Designed by Charlie Marchant

The Daily Travel Budget Template by Charlie Marchant is an excellent step-by-step guide to use if you have a jam-packed travel trip coming up that requires you to track daily expenses more carefully. 

What’s unique about this travel budget template is that you have a local currency column and a home currency column you can use for comparison purposes. 

And then there’s also a total budget row that you can compare to the sum of your daily totals to see if you are edging towards going over budget or keeping to the plan .

3. Artist Tour Budget Template

Artist Tour Budget Template

Designed by The Crafty Musician

The Artist Tour Budget Template by The Crafty Musician is a great touring budget if you plan on going from place to place and want to enjoy yourself in the process while not being too preoccupied by expenses that go with the territory. 

This budget template also has a special column for venue prices depending on the town you’re in, so you can pick the most profitable venue for you depending on your tour goals and the spend you have available – which, of course, relies on how your trip pans out while you’re visiting each destination.

4. Business Travel Budget Template

Business Travel Budget Template

Designed by Spreadsheet Daddy

The Business Travel Budget by Spreadsheet Daddy is designed nicely for business trip expenses. This spreadsheet should help you monitor and account for expenses on a business trip for record-keeping purposes. 

Category expenses that this budget template include are airfare, hotel, car rental, gas, entertainment, food, and other miscellaneous costs.

5. Corporate Travel Budget Template

Corporate Travel Budget Template

Since a corporate travel budget needs to be a little more finessed than the norm, this spreadsheet template by Spreadsheet Daddy is the one to use to accurately record typical corporate travel costs in a neat and corporate-looking document for future company reference.

6. Family Travel Template

Family Travel Template

The Family Travel Template by Spreadsheet is perfect for your next family vacation. It has a place for listing itineraries and transportation details. 

If you need a helpful reminder on what to pack, this template has a section for that, too, so you won’t forget the essentials when you and your family depart on a long journey.

7. Study Abroad Travel Budget Template

Study Abroad Travel Budget Template

Studying and living abroad can be costly. Take control over your new lifestyle expenses with The Study Abroad Travel Budget Template by Spreadsheet Daddy and jot down the main category expenses to avoid being caught unawares regarding unanticipated expenses in a new country.

8. Sales Travel Budget

Sales Travel Budget

The Sales Travel Budget Template is ideal for recording all the sales you make while on your travels. You can even use filters to establish what you sold more of and when this occurred to validate your trip.

9. Year-Long Travel Budget Template

Year-Long Travel Budget Template

The Year-Long Travel Budget Template by Spreadsheet Daddy is a good example to use if you are a perpetual traveler and require a suitable budget for year-round travel.

You can even record miles traveled, how much time you spent traveling during daylight hours and during the night, and additional expenses incurred. You can gain insights and reflect on how your travels were spent and if the trip was optimized as much as possible.

Does Google Sheets have a travel budget template?

Google Sheets does not have a travel budget template that you can download within its standard templates. However, there are plenty of free travel budget templates available for download that you can access simply by clicking on the links shown above. Perhaps best of all is the fact you can customize these spreadsheet templates to personify your travel trip best.

How do I create a travel budget in Google Sheets?

Travel budgets are one of these things where you might not think it necessary to list certain expenses. Or you may think it’s necessary to list everything – but this can get a little messy and difficult to track if you don’t have the main travel categories to follow.

Daniel Smith

simple travel budget template

  • Travel Planner Templates
  • Travel itinerary

Travel Budget

Download Travel Budget


By creating a travel budget list, you will be able to plan travel costs, determine the average cost of vacation or keep track of funds already spent. Regardless of the size of your wallet and type of vacation, you can write down absolutely everything related to your budget and other activities associated with it here.

Whether it's hiking, driving, cruise, or air travel, you'll be able to consider every aspect of your trip, such as the cost of tickets, parking spaces, lodging, renting hotel rooms, shopping/groceries expenses, excursion fees, and so on. The Travel Budget Template is a helpful tool for any traveler. It allows you to plan and track where and how you spend your money. We wish you a pleasant stay, unforgettable impressions, and the fulfillment of your cherished desires!

Sections available in this template:

  • Destination;
  • Total Budget;
  • Total Spent;
  • Accommodation (Budget, Spent, Total);
  • Transportation (Budget, Spent, Total);
  • Food/Drink (Budget, Spent, Total);
  • Activities (Budget, Spent, Total);
  • Shopping (Budget, Spent, Total);
  • Empty Field for User Notes (Budget, Spent, Total).

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simple travel budget template

simple travel budget template

Free Travel Budget Template for Google Sheets (2024 Update)

Free google sheets travel budget template.

Grab a copy of this travel budget template in Google Sheets and edit it as you see fit.

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Don't request for permission to edit, simply go to File > Make a copy .

google sheets travel budget template

How to Use Our Free Travel Budget Template in Google Sheets

Below we have outlined the steps on how to use our travel budget template in Google Sheets: 

Step 1: Planning and Budget Estimation

Begin with researching the costs associated with your destination(s). Look into accommodation prices, transportation fares, daily food expenses, and the cost of activities or attractions you plan to visit.

Step 2: Filling Out Estimated Costs

Open your Google Sheets travel budget template. Navigate to the "Estimated Cost" column (Column B) next to each category (Accommodation, Transportation, Food, etc.).

Based on your research or past experiences, enter the estimated amount you expect to spend for each category. This will serve as your budgeted amount for each part of your trip.

travel budget google sheets template

Step 3: Tracking Expenses During the Trip

As you travel, keep all receipts and make quick notes of all your expenses. This can be done in a small notebook, on your phone, or by taking photos of receipts.

Step 4: Updating Actual Costs Regularly

For each expense you incur, find the appropriate category and update the "Actual Cost" column (Column C) with the amount spent. 

travel budget template google sheets free

Step 5: Reviewing Your Budget in Real-Time

As you update your actual costs, the "Difference" column (Column D) will automatically calculate the variance between your estimated and actual expenses. This column is formulated to subtract the actual cost from the estimated cost, showing you at a glance if you are over or under budget for each category.

Use the information from the "Difference" column to make informed decisions about your spending for the remainder of the trip. If you find yourself over budget in one area, you may decide to cut back on another category to compensate.

We hope that this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of how to use our travel budget template in Google Sheets. If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to check out our free debt payoff template and our event budget template in Google Sheets .

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How to Create a Travel Budget that Works (Free Spreadsheet Template)

Are you desperate to travel the world but don’t think you can afford it? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Let’s create the perfect travel budget to make sure you don’t overspend and can keep on travelling. Travelling on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult.

Off to Get Lost  is reader-supported. Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive an affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Who needs a travel budget?

Almost everyone will benefit from having a travel budget, but they’re ideal for someone travelling on a low budget. Travelling is great, but it’s also expensive. You can easily burn through a lot of money very quickly without even realising it. I know I have!

By having a travel budget, you can make the most of your money. In this guide, you’ll be given a free budget planner spreadsheet so you can easily see what money you have, how much you’ll need, and where your money is going. With this all at hand, you can then make your money last. 

I also like to use my travel budget to plan my vacations. It’s a great way to keep all my research in one place. If I know there’s a tour I want to do or a museum to visit, it goes into the budget. This way, when I am away, I can easily check my phone and have all the reminders there. 

Top Tip: Download Google Sheets onto your phone so you can access your budget spreadsheet wherever you are!

Why is a travel budget important?

Making a budget will help you find out whether or not you can afford a trip. You can quickly see if you currently have enough funds, or need to save more in order to do everything you want to do.

I find this a huge incentive to keep saving. If you’re like me, saving money is difficult. But with a goal in mind, it becomes so much easier to say no to a new dress. That’s why having the goal to save money for travel is a great starting point for any budget. sa

It can also see what kind of holiday you can afford. Maybe you don’t want to save any more and are impatient to get on the road. With this travel budget, you can find a trip that fits your savings and start having fun straight away.

Whilst travelling, a travel budget will help make your money last. By tracking your spending, you can see where you’re overdoing it. Perhaps you notice you’ve overspent on eating out so it might be time to cook for yourself.

Or maybe you’ve been really good with spending and have some money left over. Now you can have that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and take the scuba lesson you’ve always wanted!

How to a Travel Budget that Actually Works

What do you need to consider when creating a travel budget.

It’s actually pretty easy to create a travel budget. Really, there are just two things to consider: the essentials, and the desires. In other words, what you have to buy and what you want to buy. Essential items tend to be fixed, so are super easy to put into your budget, whereas what you want is more subjective and changes more often depending on the trip you’re going to.

Below I have a few things to consider when creating your budget. If you follow this list, hopefully, there will be very few surprise expenses on your trip. 

To help you even more, I’ve created this easy-to-use budget planner to bring all your research together.

Start Budgeting like a Pro

This free Travel Budget Spreedsheet will help you predict vacation expensise, set saving goals, and keep track of your spending.

Subscribe to get your Travel Budget Spreedsheet and begin acheiving your travel goals today.

Use this planner to find out how much a trip will really cost you. You can see how much you need to save, as well as track your spending whilst on your travels. I find it so useful to see how I’ve divided my budget and adjust it accordingly as I go along.

Let’s have a Look at your Travel Budget Necessities

travel budget planner spreadsheet

These are the easy things to budget. They’re things you just have to do, and the price rarely changes no matter when you buy them.

If you’re travelling outside of your home country, make sure to check the travel restrictions and whether or not you’ll need a visa. 

For example, UK residents will need: 

When travelling to Australia , you must have a valid UK passport and an ETA visa, which costs between $150-$300. This allows you to travel in Australia for 90 days within a 365-day period. 

When travelling to Europe , it is currently free for UK citizens. However, this is expected to change in November 2024. 

When travelling to Thailand, your passport must have at least 6 months of validity remaining from your date of entry into Thailand, and you can stay in Thailand visa-free for 30 days. If you wish to stay for more than 30 days or want to work in Thailand, you need a valid visa. This must be obtained before you travel.

2: Passport

Whilst it might be obvious that you need a passport to travel internationally, it’s always worth double-checking your passport’s expiry date. Some countries (see above for some examples) require your passport to have a certain amount of validity left on your passport when you enter the country. 

You might think your passport is in date, but it would be terrible to arrive and not be allowed to travel because it expires in 3 months’ time. I’ve known people who’ve had to cancel last minute because of this exact reason! It’s not fun, that’s for sure.

3: Travel Insurance 

It’s always good to travel with insurance. It’s not expensive, so why take the risk? Check out Visitors Coverage . They are an American brand but provide coverage for people outside of the states. They have different options depending on your trip.

4: Vaccinations

In the post-pandemic world, we live in, there are even more vaccination requirements than usual when it comes to travelling. Whilst most countries have relaxed the rules on testing negative PCR tests etc. before flying, it’s always worth double-checking before you fly. 

Those tests aren’t cheap, and it’s an annoying expense to have to pay last minute. 

Of course, there are other vaccinations you will need to get depending on where you’re travelling to. Make sure you do some research and protect yourself from any potential illnesses you could get. If you’re unsure what vaccinations you need, make an appointment with your local GP to get all the information.

Now, onto the fun part! Where do you want to spend your money?

You’ve now created solid foundations for your travel budget. Next, you need to work out where you want to spend your money. I like to find the cheapest transport and save money on food so I can spend it on activities and the occasional eating out instead.

But that usually means I have to make sacrifices like travelling with just a carry on and travelling at bad times which is usually the best way to find cheap flights.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, that’s fine. All you have to do is adjust your budget to have a larger fund for transport.

Make your way through the list and see where you want to put your money. You might have to do a bit of research at this point. You don’t want to allocate just £20 to food per day only to get to your destination and realise you grossly underestimate how expensive food is.

5: Food whilst travelling 

I love food. It’s something I am more than happy to spend money on but that also means I can get a bit carried away. Despite allocating more funds to it, I still have to be strict with my budget. I’ve created this post to help you save money on food whilst travelling abroad.  

The best way to save money is to cook all your own food. When you do eat out, eat the local cuisine. If you do this, your budget should be ok. It’s worth doing some research into the area you’re going to. Search on different Europe travel blogs and read articles like Nomadic Matt’s budget guides. He breaks down a lot of the costs you need to make your own budget from food to accommodation.

6: Drink 

A big part of backpacking is the social side of it. Going out and meeting new people is one of the best things about travelling. And whilst it doesn’t have to include drinking, it often does. Spending your evenings sitting outside in a warm country sipping on a cool drink is a pretty nice way to end your day. These drinks don’t have to be alcoholic, but make sure to budget some money towards this.

This is another hard one to stick to as these plans are often spontaneous, but really try your best to stick to them. You might decide to drink alcohol just one night a week and drink soft drinks the rest. Or maybe you’d prefer to spread it out and have one beer a night to keep yourself on track. 

7: Accommodation

The biggest thing with accommodation is to check out multiple sights. Don’t stick to the first place you see. I like to use both and Hostelworld . Y ou often see the same hostels on both but at different prices.

When thinking about accommodation, try to be aware of the facilities available to you and what’s included. If you’re going to be cooking your own food, you’ll want a kitchen available to you. A lot of hostels will have a shared kitchen available, but it’s not a guarantee. 

You might also find somewhere with breakfast included in the price. This is a great bonus as it means you don’t have to budget for a whole meal. Be wary of hotels that have it as an add-on option. Usually, it’s at least 10 euros extra per day, which is more than I would budget for breakfast.

My favourite way to find places to go for cheap flights is Skyscanner . They give me the most constantly cheap flights and give you a lot of options. You can search anywhere to find a super cheap destination and shows you cheaper dates on either side of your search.

Flight prices fluctuate a lot, and it can be a bit of a game to find the best deals. If you need some ideas, check out this guide on how to find the cheapest flights .

9: Transportation

It’s vital to work out how much you’re going to spend on transport whilst away. This will depend a lot on the type of holiday you’re going on. This encompasses quite a lot, so check out what things to think about below.  

If you’re planning an interrail trip, buying an interrail ticket will have your main trains sorted. But don’t forget about potential day trips and any smaller, in-country trains you might want to take. I like to use Trainline to book my trains whilst travelling in Europe. They are consistent with finding the cheapest deals and make it really easy to find train timetables.

If you’re looking at renting a ca r, check out Discover Cars . They are an award-winning company and compare over 500 suppliers to find you the best deal wherever you’re travelling.

Other things you need to consider when it comes to transport:

What public transport is available to you and how much does local transport cost? Do they have a multi-ticket deal?

Is public transport reliable?

Will you even need to use public transport? If it’s a smaller city or all the places you want to see are within walking distance, you might not need to budget anything for this at all.

How much is transport to and from the airport? I always forget to budget for the return journey and have had to spend a sad amount on last-minute taxis when the buses have failed.

10: Activities

This is where you can have some fun with your research. Get to know what’s happening at your destination, and begin adding things to your list of what you want to do. If it’s a city holiday, see if there are museums you want to go to and look at what free activities are available to you. Most cities will have free walking tours that are great ways to see the city whilst saving your budget. 

Or maybe you’re travelling to the coast and want to finally learn to surf? Perhaps there’s a boat trip that looks unmissable. The important thing with any budget is to balance making your money last and spending it on what you really want to experience.  

I like to use Get Your Guide to browse my options. They often have bundle tickets with added queue jump which is great if you’re travelling with less time.

Also, think about what you will be buying. Are you one for getting presents for others? Or maybe you like to collect postcards from everywhere you go? These might not be big expenditures, but they can add up so it’s good to include them. 

11: Emergency Fund

The final thing you need to create is an emergency fund.

The reality of travel is that things can go wrong. Whether you simply forgot to budget for something, or you miss a flight, you need to be able to financially cover these. 

More often than not, you won’t have to dip into these savings, at least not for anything major. But I almost always end up taking a little for small things here and there. Just knowing I have it is also a great stress reliever and makes me more confident whilst travelling.

If you’re worried about travelling solo, check out these tips on how to stay safe when travelling . They’re easy to implement but can make a huge difference in feeling confident when venturing out on your own.

How to use your travel budget when you’re away

travel budget planner spreadsheet

Whilst you’re away on your travels, your budget will help make your money last. Without a budget, it can be difficult to know where you can spend your money, and where your money’s suddenly disappeared to.

By tracking what you’ve spent, even if loosely, you can see exactly where you might be overspending and can act accordingly. Travel can be very spur of the moment, and you don’t want to miss an opportunity because you’re not sure if you can afford it. With your tracker, you’ll easily be able to see how much money you have and where you can spare it, and never miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity again. 

Budget saving tips 

  • Work whilst away through companies such as Worldpackers
  • Use these tips to get the cheapest flights every time.
  • Travel light with a compact carry on
  • Save money on food whilst travelling with these tips

Taking the time to create a travel budget is a great way to discover where you’re going. Find incredible things to do, even if they’re free activities, and pop them into your budget. It’ll help you save money whilst way, as once you’ve created your budget, you can use it to keep track of your spending, and also see where you have overbudgeted. Maybe you don’t need that much money for food, so can afford to spend more on activities. 

If you’ve filled out the budget planner and discovered your dream vacation is out of your budget, you can now make a plan to save. Check out these easy and actionable tips on how to save money and travel more . Soon, your dream vacation will be well within reach.

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Kizzi is a travel blogger and photographer who loves sharing her passion for exploring the world. is the creator of Off to Get Lost. Her love for travel began in 2017 when she went on her first solo adventure to Sri Lanka. Recently, Kizzi has been exploring the hidden depths of Europe and sharing her findings on Off To Get Lost. Through Off to Get Lost, Kizzi aims to empower fellow adventurers, teaching how to maximize their time, budget, and grow confidence while uncovering Europe's finest treasures.

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Travel Budget

Travelling can be exciting and thrilling because it is a way to meet new people and see a whole different way of life. Also, it can help create new experiences for you and expands your worldview beyond what is within your immediate reach. You may want to travel for different purposes such as relaxation, tourism, or to get away from the hustle and bustle of your life.

Irrespective of why you are going on a trip, you must prepare adequately by having a travel budget. This article is filled with information to help you correctly carry out this preparatory step before you embark on a trip. This article will outline what your travel budget should include and provide you with a travel budget template.

Pre-budgeting Considerations

Before going on a trip for any reason, there are specific basic steps to consider.

They include the following considerations:

  • Determine what you can afford: There is a need to estimate how much money you have available for the vacation because of the expenses you’ll have to incur before, during, and after your trip. Therefore, it is advisable to go with whatever travel package and location is within your financial capability. But, on the other hand, there is no need to go overboard and get yourself into debt because of a trip.
  • Get advice from friends and family: Asking for important information and reviews from family and friends who may have visited your intended location will also help your preparatory steps. Answers to various questions about your destination that you will find on the internet can be complemented by first-hand information from your friends and family members who may have visited that place previously. Information from acquaintances about accommodation, food, security, etc., may be more trustworthy.
  • Save some money: Travelling comes with many expenses, and you must be willing and ready to save a reasonable amount of money if you want to have a great and memorable trip. Therefore, you should attempt to put money together and start saving weeks or even months before you eventually travel.  It is better to have more money than necessary for your trip instead of having way less and getting stranded.

What to Include in a Travel Budget Template?

 There are essential expenses that are included in a travel budget template. These expenses include the following:

Airfare expenses

Depending on the location you intend to travel to, you may have to consider usually expensive airfare expenses. Considering that air travel is usually the quickest option, it will be a big part of your travel budget. Therefore, you should try to make ample research on the possible cost of your flight and try to get cheap flight options that will significantly reduce your travel expenses. Note that flying during peak periods is possibly going to make flight costs skyrocket, so you should schedule your trip during the off-peak period.

 If you’re traveling a short distance, it’s advisable to look into other forms of transportation that may be more favorable.

Transportation expenses

You’ll require transportation when you get to your location, so you should prepare for that. Depending on your destination, various forms of public transportation are available to help you get around. Public transportation is usually a great option because it’s inexpensive and gives you a local experience. It may include taxis, trains, buses, motorcycles, etc.

Nevertheless, if you have some extra money, you can commute better by renting a car at your location and driving yourself around. And if you need a driver, you can book one through a rental service.

When it comes to the issue of insurance on rental cars, you can make inquiries from your insurance provider about whether your original car insurance covers rental cars as well. In the instance that you don’t own car insurance from the onset, some non-owner car insurance policies will cover a rental car through the duration of use.

Before getting any insurance policy, try to ascertain if your credit card provider has a rental car insurance policy available.

Accommodation/ lodging expenses

Having a place to stay is a big deal and a necessity that can’t be ignored. But, first, decide what type of accommodation you prefer, whether it’s a hotel, hostel, or apartment rental. Next, you must check out the prices of these accommodations compared to your financial capability.

Accommodation expenses depend on the quality of the place. So be sure to consider your exact needs and what is available at your destination. If your destination is a tourist area, there will likely be many hotels, motels, and resorts. Check out multiple sources before booking hotels to find the best deals.

Expenses for food

Without much doubt, feeding during your trip is a must-do activity. Therefore, you need to include these expenses in your budget. However, remember that you’ll most likely be eating out, and food costs can vary in different places. Therefore, determine local food costs and estimate how much you may be spending on food.

If you need to save some money on food, consider getting a hotel room with a kitchen and then purchase groceries so you can prepare some simple meals. To give yourself a fully immersive travel experience, you should budget some money mainly to try out the local delicacies of your destination.

Cell phone coverage

Depending on whether you are traveling to a different country or not, you have to consider an arrangement for your cell phone use during your trip. This includes phone calls, internet access, etc. Try to find out if your service provider offers network services that would make it easier for you in a different country, or consider purchasing a local SIM card when you get to your destination. This usually costs less than the international roaming fees your service provider may charge.

Debit card holds

You should prepare for possible debit card holds if you’re paying with a debit card, as this can delay your payments and leave you without funds. Hence, it is better to try to pay for your expenses with a credit card or plan your travel budget around the debit cardholder.

Include extras/incidental expenses

In your travel budget, you should consider the need for possible expenses that may occur. Unforeseen expenses may arise, and you’d need funds to sort them out. So, you should create your travel budget in a manner that leaves a little money left over for that. Some of these expenses may include purchasing medicines for an unforeseen illness. Thus, it is advisable to include extras expenses in your travel budget.

Sightseeing costs

You may want to do some sightseeing as other travelers do during your trip. In that event, you should include some funds for transportation, tours admittance into museums or parks, and other related costs in your budget. Get ample information about these places beforehand to know how well to plan and how much you have to budget.

Entertainment costs

Suppose there are other forms of engagement you are willing to try out at your travel destination, such as enjoying nightlife or taking up other available entertainment opportunities. In that case, you have to factor these costs into your travel budget too.

Gifts and souvenirs

A trip is not complete without picking out something worthwhile from your destination for yourself, family, and friends. In addition, you should purchase gifts and souvenirs as you go on your daily activities during your trip. It may be challenging to determine the costs of these gifts beforehand, so try to make a reasonable budget within your means and make a list of those you intend to purchase gifts and souvenirs for during your trip.

Use Budgeting Tools: Free Travel Budget Templates

As you know the importance of having a travel budget to help make your travel plans a reality, you may be asking yourself how I create a travel budget to track my spending.  If you want to create a travel budget that is well organized, easy to use, and detailed enough, it is advisable to use budgeting tools that are already made just for that purpose.

A travel budget template is a tool you need to ensure that your trip’s financial aspect is not in disarray. You can find several travel budget templates available on this website for download and use. In using these templates, you have to input details and figures into already prepared rows and columns, and you may also decide to customize them to add or delete specific fields if you wish.

travel budget template google sheets

Tips for Easy Budgeting

There are some extra tips to consider to help make your travel preparations easier and possibly less expensive.

These tips include:

1. Consider an all-inclusive package

You may consider purchasing an all-inclusive vacation package that several travel agencies provide for your trip, reducing the cost of specific items and making it easier for you to travel budget. These vacation packages usually include lodging, food, and entertainment provisions like tickets to amusement parks, museums, tours, etc.

2. Track your travel spending

Tracking your spending when you travel is a healthy way of preventing overspending. It’s a good idea to track what you’re spending because it would help you know how you are sticking to your travel budget. In addition, you may have overestimated or underestimated a particular expense or the other while planning your trip. Therefore, it is essential to track the exact amount of various activities. You can use various spending tracking apps to gather this information.

3. Make a travel budget savings plan.

Understanding that you have to save for your trip is one thing and making efforts to save is another. You can save money for your trip by setting up an automatic transfer from your main account into a savings account dedicated primarily to your travel preparations. This helps to keep your budget separate and safe before your trip.

4. Convert currency

Suppose you are leaving the country for another one. In that case, you’d need to convert your home country’s currency into the local currency of your destination to make your spending easier and without hassle, as local merchants may not be willing to transact with a foreign currency. In converting your money into the local currency, determine the exchange rate and how more or less valuable it is compared to your home country’s currency.

5. Redeem rewards and bonuses

If you have earned any reward or bonus on your travel credit cards over time, you should redeem them for your planned trip. This can be done directly through your card’s travel portal or by transferring them to the establishments you intend to get certain services from, such as accommodation, flights, and other benefits.

6. Consider travel insurance

Suppose you are one to bother about what might happen in the case of the unexpected. In that case, travel insurance is available to protect you from unexpected flight delays or cancellations and possible medical costs. You can inquire if your credit card servicer provides for that before you get one from a third-party insurance provider.

The level of planning of your travel budget would determine to a large extent, how hassle-free your trip would turn out. It allows you to estimate the expenses for your planned vacation and enables you to travel within your means. It is also an important tool that helps prevent you from overspending or making irrational financial decisions before, during, or after your trip.

If you plan on taking a vacation sometime soon, you should take the liberty to create your travel budget, as explained in this article, while you get ready to embark and enjoy that well-deserved vacation.

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5 steps to create a travel budget template

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Keeping track of costs when traveling becomes much easier with a bit of forward planning. Transportation, lodging, food and entertainment are some of the costs you’ll want to plan for. Plus, travel inflation has made it all the more important to establish a budget and make sure you can comfortably account for these expenses.

Creating a budget not only means understanding all the expenses you need to consider but also helps to serve as a guide for spending and can provide emotional security.

Travel expenses statistics

  • On average, travelers spend about $225 per day for a trip within the U.S., excluding flight costs.
  • The largest average spending category for travelers is accommodation; a hotel room for one person in the U.S. costs $102 a day on average, which is nearly half of the total cost for domestic travel.
  • Transportation, on average, costs $36 a day in the U.S.
  • Inflated costs have become a significant problem for American travelers — 57 percent say travel prices are higher than they’re accustomed to.
  • Disruption to travel plans, whether due to inflated prices or other causes, sometimes hurts bank accounts, with 14 percent of those polled saying they lost money due to canceled or disrupted plans.
  • Still, Americans don’t want to give up vacationing. A third say they’d rather scale back on their travel budget than not travel at all.

Sources: Budget Your Trip, Bankrate , Outdoorsy

Building a travel budget template

The key to building an effective travel budget is researching costs for the desired destination ahead of time. This can help you make informed decisions about where to allocate spending, where you can make room for savings and what you want to prioritize.

While some might find it easiest to create a budget template with paper and pencil, you can also use servers such as Excel or Google Sheets, or even a pre-made online template, to draft a budget. Another option to consider is a budgeting app . Some of these apps, such as Mint and TravelSpend, allow you to make a budget specifically for a vacation with automated suggestions.

Before drafting up the budget, you’ll want to evaluate your own finances and determine how much you can set aside for a vacation. Once you’ve researched costs of different spending categories for your travel destination, you can see how the total projected cost measures up to your available spending money. Then, make adjustments to the budget as necessary to match it up with your financial profile.

Here are the steps for best creating a travel budget and distributing funds according to your needs.

1. Designate necessities first

On any trip, you’ll need to eat, get around and have somewhere to sleep. Food, accommodations and transportation are three expenses you can’t avoid, and they’re going to make up the bulk of your budget. You’ll want to establish these categories in your budget first, since they are less flexible.

According to Budget Your Trip, accommodation costs make up for about 45 percent of travel expenses on average, excluding airfare, for domestic trips within the U.S. That cost can vary depending on where you’re staying. For example, an Airbnb or hostel might be cheaper than a hotel room.

It’s also important to consider the cost of airfare if you’ll be traveling by plane. As of November 6, 2022, the average cost for domestic, round-trip flights was $328, according to Hopper . The average cost of international, round-trip flights is $1,022. Under the transportation category of your budget, you may also want to add line items for different ways you’ll be getting around, including rail passes, car rentals or bike rentals.

When it comes to food, this expense can be highly variable. If you’re going to eat out everyday, the cost of food can be over $100 per day. You can significantly lower this cost if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen and buy groceries to make your own meals.

It’s a good idea to add in extra costs for emergencies within your necessities, such as a last-minute accommodation change or having to take more expensive transportation.

2. Expenses for visas, travel insurance and vaccinations

Depending on the destination and length of your trip, visas and vaccinations might be necessary. You’ll need a visa to travel to countries that don’t have visa agreements with the home country of your passport. Search your destination country on Travel.State.Gov to find visa requirements and costs.

Certain vaccinations may be required by some countries, such as yellow fever or polio vaccines. If you’re pregnant or immunocompromised, you may need extra vaccines. You can find a travel clinic, which provides vaccinations for different countries’ requirements, at the International Society of Travel Medicine’s directory .

Meanwhile, travel insurance might be another budgeting category to add, especially if you’ll be engaging in high-risk activities while abroad or traveling to more niche destinations. The average cost of basic travel coverage , which includes trip cancellation and baggage loss, is $103. This estimate will vary depending on how comprehensive the plan you select is.

Plan to pay for these expenses well ahead of time, or you may have to pay higher costs for expedited services, which will eat into your budget more.

3. Prioritize your activity preferences

When it comes to activities and entertainment, it’s important to have a certain degree of flexibility so you can stay within your budget. You might not be able to do every activity that’s available to you, but setting aside a designated category for activity expenses will allow you to enjoy spontaneous adventures within the parameters of the budget.

The average daily cost for entertainment expenses while traveling in the U.S. is $43, according to Budget Your Trip.

Look into the costs of several activities that are most appealing to you and add these up while also factoring the extra cost of spontaneous activities into your estimate for this category.

There are many free activities or more affordable options, which can help you lower the cost of your activity category. Museums, parks and local markets are some ways you can enjoy a vacation at a lower cost.

4. Create a cushion for unplanned expenses

It’s always better to overestimate your travel costs, rather than end up scrambling to make room for various unplanned expenses. There’s a number of factors that might escape your planning, but you can get one step ahead of them by creating a budgeting category for unexpected costs.

Some common costs that might crop up during your trip include:

  • Baggage fees
  • Exchange rates and foreign transaction fees
  • Tips (such as for dining or transportation)
  • Medical emergencies
  • Wi-Fi or roaming charges
  • Hotel booking fees

If you end up spending less than what was set aside for unexpected expenses, you can always reallocate that money into other activities and purchases, such as an elevated dining experience or souvenirs.

5. Review and make adjustments

Now that you’ve established all of the spending categories to account for on your trip, it’s time to compare the budget you’ve created with your available funds.

If your total spending estimate is lower than what you actually have available for spending, then you can either save that extra money for a future trip or enhance one or several of the budgeting categories, such as adding in an extra activity or dining out more frequently.

If the estimate is over your available spending money, then you’ll need to cut costs in areas where you’re willing to compromise. There are a number of ways you can often find more affordable alternatives and save on travel expenses . You could also see if you have any travel rewards points from credit cards and use them to help cover some travel costs.

Bottom line

Researching your travel destination and estimating costs can help you avoid financial stress and potentially devastating credit card bills. A budget specific to travel is a great way to lay out your planned spending and identify your spending priorities.

If, after making the budget, you find that expenses exceed your available funds, you can always find ways to save on travel costs while you’re still in the planning stage or invest in a CD to boost your available spending money.

Lastly, don’t forget to convert currency if you’re traveling abroad, so you can stay on top of how much you’re spending.

simple travel budget template

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How to Create a Trip Planning Spreadsheet [5 Free Templates]

  • Last updated April 25, 2023

Travel planning can get exhausting, especially when you have no clear starting point. You can make this (at least) tolerable by creating a trip planning spreadsheet. Here, you can keep your itinerary, transportation details, budget allocation, and similar aspects.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can create a trip planning spreadsheet using Google Sheets and why it’s so useful. We’ll also provide five different templates you can readily use for your travel planning.

Table of Contents

How to Create a Trip Planning Spreadsheet on Google Sheets

Step 1: make multiple tabs on your spreadsheet.

To keep your travel planner tidy, you should first create several tabs inside your spreadsheet. This allows you to categorize the kinds of information you’re going to deal with. For example, you can separate your flight details from your budget planning.

Follow the instructions below to do this.

  • Launch your browser, then go to .
  • Click “ Blank ” under the “ Start a new spreadsheet ” section.

Creating a blank spreadsheet on Google Sheets

  • Hover over the name of the current worksheet (usually named “ Sheet1 ”), click on the drop-down arrow, then select “Rename.”

Renaming a worksheet on Google Sheets

  • Type your preferred worksheet name, then press  “Enter”  or “Return”  on your keyboard.
  • To add another worksheet, click on the  “Add Sheet”  icon (plus + symbol) at the bottom-left corner of your screen.

Adding another worksheet in Google Sheets

  • Repeat steps 1 to 4 to rename the worksheet.

Common Tabs to Add

You can create many kinds of worksheets depending on your specific requirements. Here are some common tabs you’d typically see in a trip planning spreadsheet:

  • Itinerary: Include the basic details of the places you plan to be in, like dinner reservations, conferences you need to attend, tourist attractions, etc.
  • Transportation: Keep your flight schedule, the routes you plan to take, your commute options (car rental, bus, etc.), and similar information.
  • Accommodation: List the names and locations of your lodgings. You can also include whether or not you’ve made a reservation already, the room prices, and more.
  • Food: Plan where you can get your meals, the restaurants you want to visit, and the average costs of eating out.
  • Budget: Track your day-to-day expenses and see how much money you’re left with.
  • Packing List: Don’t leave anything essential at home before embarking on your trip — passports, IDs, cash, and similar things.
  • Activities:  List the things that you can do at your destination, like bar hopping, nightlife activities, concerts, and so on.

Step 2: Add Column Headers

After creating multiple tabs, you can further categorize your details using column headers. These are found at the top of your worksheet, describing what kind of values are present in a column’s cells.

To add column headers, simply follow these steps.

  • Click on the first cell (cell A1) in the upper-left corner of your worksheet.
  • Enter your preferred column header, such as “Location”  (as used in our example).
  • Repeat the previous step for other cells in the same row. (We used the headers “Date,” “Time,” “Transportation,” “Costs,”  and  “Status”  in our example below).

Adding column headers in Google Sheets

  • Once done, select all the column headers you’ve added, then click “Bold”  in the toolbar.

How to bold text in Google Sheets

  • Alternatively, you can make them bold by pressing “Ctrl” + “B” (or “Cmd” + “B”  for Mac) on your keyboard.

Common Column Headers

The column headers we’ve used in the demonstration above are applicable to the Itinerary tab. Keep in mind that you can virtually use any word or phrase for your column headers, though. Below are some options you can consider.

For the Accommodation tab

  • Nearby shops and attractions
  • Room prices

For the Transportation tab

  • Travel date and times
  • Flight details, such as flight schedule and flight number
  • Car rental company, including name, address, and contact number

For the Budget tab

  • Daily budget
  • Total budget
  • Total amount spent
  • Amount remaining
  • Expense description

After adding your column headers, you can start filling out the fields with your information.

Step 3: Personalize Your Travel Planning Spreadsheet

All that’s left for you to do is add a touch of creativity to your vacation spreadsheet. Here are some ways you can do this.

Use Conditional Formatting

The term “conditional formatting” simply refers to a change in a cell’s appearance when certain requirements are met. Below is an example where we change a cell’s color to green when it contains the word  “Done.”

  • Right-click on a cell, then select “View more cell actions” > “Conditional formatting.”

Accessing Google Sheets conditional formatting

  • On the side panel that appears, click the drop-down list under the “Format cells if…”  menu.

Conditional formatting in Google Sheets

  • Select  “Text is exactly”  from the options.

Changing conditional formatting rules in Google Sheets

  • Type  “Done”  in the “Value or formula”  field.
  • Click on the “Done”  button to save your changes.

Adding conditional formatting rules in Google Sheets

  • Drag the cell’s contents to copy the conditional formatting rules to other cells.

Use Alternating Colors

If you’re dealing with a lot of details, you can also use alternating colors, making it easier for you to read. Here’s how to enable different cell colors on your spreadsheet.

  • Select the cells you want to display in alternating colors.
  • On the menu bar, select “Format” > “Alternating colors.”

How to add alternating colors in Google Sheets

  • Choose your preferred color, then click the  “Done”  button to save your changes.

Selecting alternating color styles in Google Sheets

When to Use a Trip Planner Template

You can use spreadsheets every time you’re planning a trip — there’s no reason you shouldn’t! They are handy regardless of whether you’re traveling to a nearby town or going on an overseas vacation.

How about trip planner templates? Well, if you don’t have the time to create a spreadsheet from scratch, using a template would be excellent. These are some helpful pre-made planners that are ready for you to fill out.

Free Google Sheets Trip Planner Templates

1. daily itinerary planner spreadsheet.

Daily Itinerary Planner Spreadsheet screenshot

Especially when traveling to faraway places, going into detail about the activities you plan to do daily is a good practice. You can share this daily itinerary with the people you went on a trip with, letting them know where to find you in case of grave situations.

Template Features

  • Categorize your itinerary into multiple days (which are color-coded for organization)
  • Describe your activities in a separate section and indicate the time and location where you’ll do them
  • List the diners or restaurants where you can eat near the location of your activity
  • Schedule your day properly by indicating the end time for each activity

Access Template

2. Travel Budget Template

Travel Budget Template screenshot

Allocating your travel budget ahead of time lets you set boundaries when it comes to spending. This lets you know what costs you need to put first, too. Such money allocation is rarely followed, though (with impulsive purchases and unplanned expenses), making it important to have an expense planner and tracker throughout your trip.

  • Categorize your expenses per location according to the transportation you used, your accommodation, food you ate, and activities you did
  • Pick from a drop-down list of common transportation methods (e.g., bus, car rental, ferry, etc.)
  • Enter your total and daily budget allocation, as well as their converted counterparts in your destination’s local currency
  • Automatically calculate your daily expenses, including the total amount spent and your remaining budget for the day
  • Calculate your total expenses throughout the trip, as well as the amount remaining from your budget

3. Travel Checklist Template

Travel Checklist Template screenshot

Successful and non-stressful trips can’t go without good preparation. For example, you’d want to ensure that your passport hasn’t expired yet before strutting over to your flight. A travel checklist spreadsheet would be handy in this case.

  • Set a completion status for each of your to-dos
  • Categorize your to-do list into  “Travel prep,” “Home prep,” “Transportation,”  and “Money/documents”
  • Add notes to each item on the list
  • Set a due date for your to-dos
  • Determine the number of days remaining for you to accomplish the things listed with an automatic counter included
  • Automatically count the number of tasks that are not yet done and those already finished

4. Destination Planner Spreadsheet

Destination Planner Spreadsheet screenshot

Researching your destination should always be part of your planning. For example, you want to know the available hotels and accommodations that you can opt for in your target location. This lets you find the ones with the lowest prices, the most convenient in terms of route, and more.

Knowing the current climate and the community there would be essential too. This allows you to anticipate what things to bring, what activities you can possibly do, and similar aspects.

  • Enter your destination’s information, such as its current season, whether it’s rural or urban, and more
  • List the tourist spots that you can visit in your destination, including their name, specific location, and transportation route
  • Detail the activities that you want to do, together with their category, description, duration, and estimated expenses
  • Find and compile a list of all available accommodations in your target location, as well as their name, address, price range, and pros/cons

5. Packing List Template

Packing List Template screenshot

Before your trip, it is helpful to make a packing list of everything you’ll need — bathing essentials, clothing, money, documents, and more. Then, right before leaving your home, you can do a quick check to see if you’ve already placed every item on your list inside your luggage. You can do both with a packing list spreadsheet.

  • Enter the details of your target destination, such as its usual weather, temperature, clothing restrictions, and more
  • Add notes about your packing list
  • Categorize your items by location, like the beach, conference, office, and other places
  • Classify your things by type, such as clothing, money, documents, electronics, etc.
  • Mark the items “Ready” once you have prepared them inside your luggage

Why Use Our Templates?

Below are some reasons you’d want to use the travel spreadsheet templates we have here at Spreadsheet Point :

Formulas and Drop-down Lists

We added several drop-down lists for common topics to make things easier for you. For instance, we included a drop-down where you can select common transportation types like buses, ferries, airplanes, car rentals, and more.

Easy Sharing and Collaboration

All of our templates are built on Google Sheets — you can easily collaborate with your friends in planning your trip with the  “Share”  button.

Color-Coded Categories

We displayed each category in unique colors and shades to keep them tidy.

Other Trips on Planning Your Travel

In addition to the travel planning templates we’ve discussed, here are a few bonus tips you can apply to prepare for your trip:

  • Pick a location that your current finances can accommodate.
  • Don’t bring things that won’t fit inside your backpack to avoid paying for extra luggage costs.
  • When selecting a hotel or apartment, choose one that’s near major transportation lines.
  • Weigh whether taking a bus would be more cost-effective than taking a flight.
  • Always get travel insurance before embarking on your trip — it won’t shield you from accidents, but it will keep you from having an empty bank account.

Enjoy Your Trip with Everything Prepared

A lot of unknowns await you at your destination — unexpected expenses, spontaneous activities, booking problems, and more. With a trip planning spreadsheet, you can minimize these by anticipating the things on your journey. Feel free to use the templates we’ve included here to plan a successful trip today.

You can also access more of these useful templates on our Gumroad  profile. Don’t forget to use the code “ SSP ” to get 50% off all templates!

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Download Travel Budget Template In Excel

  • Budget , Event Budget , Excel Planners , Excel Templates

Download the Travel Budget Excel Template to Plan for Your Next Adventure

If you’re looking for an efficient way to plan for your upcoming travels and manage your expenses, our Travel Budget Template in Excel Sheet is the perfect tool for you. This template is designed to help you keep track of your travel expenses, categorize them in broad categories, and present them in a graphical format. With this template, you can easily monitor your expenses and ensure that you stay within your budget.

Efficient Expense Management

The Travel Budget Template is an efficient way to manage your travel expenses. The template is easy to use and allows you to track your expenses in a user-friendly way. By categorizing your expenses into broad categories, you can quickly see where you are spending the most money and make adjustments to your budget if necessary. With this template, you can save time and avoid the hassle of manually tracking your expenses.

Graphical Presentation

The Travel Budget Template gives you a graphical presentation of your expenses, which makes it easier to visualize your spending. The template uses graphs and charts to display your expenses by category, so you can easily see where your money is going. The graphical presentation makes it easy to identify areas where you can cut back on spending or adjust your budget.

Categorize Your Expenses

The Travel Budget Template allows you to categorize your expenses into broad categories such as transportation, accommodation, food, and entertainment. This categorization makes it easy to see where you are spending the most money and identify areas where you can reduce your spending. By keeping your expenses organized and categorized, you can make better-informed decisions about your spending.

In conclusion, our Travel Budget Template in Excel Sheet is an essential tool for anyone planning a trip. It is easy to use, provides a graphical presentation of your expenses, and categorizes your expenses into broad categories. With this template, you can efficiently manage your expenses and stay within your budget. Download the template today and start planning your next adventure with confidence.

Download this Travel Budget template in Excel Format

Our easy to use editable Excel templates and save your significant amount of time and effort. Here’s how to download and use one of our templates:

Download this free Excel Template : Once you’ve browsed through our collection of templates and find the one that best fits your needs. Once you’ve found the template you want, click on the download button.

Replace sample data with your actual data: Once the template is downloaded, open it in Excel. You’ll see that it is already set up with sample data. To start analyzing your own data, simply replace the sample data with your actual data.

Customize the template: Our templates are completely editable, which means you can customize them to fit your specific needs. For example, you can change the formatting, add or remove columns, or create new charts and graphs.

Use the Excel template: Once you’ve fed in your data and customized the template, you’re ready to start using it for data analysis. Use the various tools and features of Excel to analyze and visualize your data, and make informed business decisions.

Save and share: Once you’ve finished working on the template, save it to your computer and share it with other members of your team or stakeholders as needed.

Click Download Button To Get Travel Budget Excel Template

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simple travel budget template

How to budget for full time travel – A step by step guide

  • July 27, 2023
  • curious goose

simple travel budget template

This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if you use these links.

Want to go backpacking in Southeast Asia ? Try out vanlife in Australia? Or travel around Europe? Planning for full time travel can be daunting, most of all because of the cost. Knowing where and how to start preparing your travel budget can feel overwhelming. That’s why I’ve put together this practical step by step guide for how to budget for full time travel.

Table of Contents

How to budget for full time travel - a step by step guide.

This post will guide you through step by step instructions of how to set your travel budget. You can also download my handy Travel Budget Spreadsheet template and simply populate it with your numbers. An easy, simple way to plan your travel budget for your dream trip!

As well as guiding you through completing your own Travel Budget Spreadsheet, I’ll also cover key things you need to think about when budgeting for full time travel.

So, let’s go…!

How can I afford to travel full time?

Before I jump into how to budget for full time travel, I wanted to answer this as it’s a question I get asked a lot – ‘how can you afford to travel full time?!’ Some people we’ve met have even jokingly asked if we’re rich! (Ha! I wish!)

At the time of writing this post, I’ve been travelling full time with my husband for just over a year. We set off in September 2021, spending 3 months in Europe, driving through the beautiful landscapes of Germany’s Black Forest , visiting the Matterhorn in Switzerland and enjoying life on the French Riviera . After a short stop back at home in the UK to spend Christmas with our families, we flew to Thailand in January 2022 and ended up loving it so much, we stayed there for 3 months. Following that, we visited Cambodia, spent a month in Vietnam , had 5 days in Singapore , then continued onto Malaysia and Bali before arriving in Australia, where we are currently travelling around in a van for 3 months. After Australia we fly to New Zealand, where we’ll be enjoying van life again for another 2 months.

Neither of us work whilst we are travelling (although we could both work remotely online if we chose to), so, you’re probably wondering how we afford to travel full time?

Well, the reality is that we spent quite a few years saving really hard for our travels. We consciously decided that we didn’t want to have to work whilst we were taking this time out to travel, so we knew we needed a plan and that involved a lot of saving! We made a rough itinerary of where we wanted to travel and how long we wanted to spend in each place. After that, we then set ourselves a travel budget and started saving! There really is no magic trick I’m afraid, but if you really want something and you are determined to work hard and focus on the end goal, then you can make it happen.

Check out my super simple, but effective tips for how to save for full time travel.

simple travel budget template

How to create your travel budget - how much money do you need for full time travel?

It’s easy to get carried away dreaming of lying on the sandy beaches of Phuket , in Thailand or visiting elephants in Sri Lanka , but before that becomes a reality, you need to plan your travel budget.

Without knowing how much things cost and how much money you will actually need to travel, you’ll run out of money very quickly. No-one wants to have to cut their trip short because they don’t have any money left!

How much money you will need to travel full time will be different for everyone as it is dependant on a number of things:

  • Destination (the place or places you want to travel to)
  • Duration (how long you hope to spend in each place)
  • Your style of travel (the standard of accommodation, transport, food and drink you are happy with)
  • What activities you plan to do (if you have any bucket list activities you want to tick off such as a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon or snorkel in the Whitsundays , these things will evidently cost more).

The next 9 steps will guide you through how to create your travel budget. This includes not only setting your budget for whilst you are travelling, but also your pre-departure budget, emergency travel funds budget, an ongoing expenses budget and a post travel budget.

That may sound overwhelming, but I promise you it is really quite simple once you get started and hopefully this guide will help you break it down into more manageable chunks.

And to make it even easier for you, I’ve shared my own Travel Budget Spreadsheet as a temple which you can download and use for yourself. It is editable so you can make any changes you might want too.

Creating your Travel Budget in 9 simple steps:

1. decide on your destination(s).

Deciding where you would like to travel to is one of the first steps you should make when starting to budget for full time travel. Your destination(s) will have a huge impact on how much you need to save. For example, travelling in South East Asia will be far cheaper than in Australia, or in Europe. Once you’ve decided on the destination(s) you would like to visit, make a list of them all.

Personally, I would recommend creating this list in an excel or google docs spreadsheet. This will be your Travel Budget Spreadsheet. If you have several places you want to visit, add each destination into its own cell, one underneath each other. Your Travel Budget Spreadsheet doesn’t need to be fancy, keep it simple.

Task: Make a list of the destinations you would like to visit (in order of preference):

Travel Budget Spreadsheet example:

2. Decide how long you would like to travel for

Some people may advise you to just save as much as you can within ‘x months’ and then figure out how long that can sustain you for. I would recommend having a good idea of how long you would like to travel for first, as this will help you to work out how much money you need to save and how long that will take you. I find that having a figure to work towards also means that you are more likely to keep on track with your saving goal.

If you’re planning to travel to several places, make a note of how long you would like to spend in each place as this will help you to work out your travel budget per destination too.

Task: Go back to your Travel Budget Spreadsheet. In the second and third columns, titled ‘Duration’ in both days and weeks, write how long you would ideally like to spend in each place. At the bottom of the Duration column, add up the number of days / weeks / months to get your total.

3. Research the average costs in each destination

How will you know how much to save if you don’t know how much things cost? Do some research into things like accommodation, transport and the price of meals and drinks. Read blogs, watch YouTube videos but also do some research yourself on sites such as to see how much accommodation is on average, or on sites like Viator to see how much tours and activities might be.

Tip: It is important when looking into the cost of transport, flights , accommodation and van or car hire to input dates at the same time of year you are planning to travel to that destination. For example, the peak season in Thailand is December – February. During these months, the cost of accommodation and flights will be higher than if you visited during the rainy season July – September.

Once you have done your research, make a note of how much you think you might need per day in that destination. Don’t worry about getting this exactly right. Without actually being in the country, it is hard to know the exact costs of things, so this is more of an educated guesstimate, but an estimated cost based on research is far closer to being correct than if you plucked a figure out of the air!

Remember that your daily cost will be different than someone else’s. Your daily cost will depend on things like the standard of accommodation you are happy with, how often you like to party, what activities you want to do and what kind of places you eat at. Make sure you remember that, especially when reading blogs, or instagram posts or watching YouTube vlogs.

Task: On your destinations list, add a fourth column with your average daily spend for each destination. Note that each destination will have slightly different average daily spends, based on how expensive things are in that country or city.

4. Set your travel budget

Now you know where you want to travel to, how long you would like to travel for, and how much things cost in your chosen destination(s), it’s time to set your travel budget. Go back to your Travel Budget Spreadsheet. You should now have four columns with the information you have collected so far. Add a fifth column – this is where you will calculate the amount of money you need for each destination.

Now you have worked out how much money you need in each destination, add everything up and you will have the total amount of money needed to complete your dream trip.

At this stage, assess whether this figure is manageable and realistic for you. Do you need to make any adjustments?

5. Set a pre-departure budget

Planning a budget for full time travel isn’t just about saving for whilst you are on your trip. You also need to factor in any expenses you may need before your trip. These could include things like travel vaccinations, visas, flights, or purchasing travel essentials such as a backpack, packing cubes, reusable water bottles, etc. You might need to buy a supply of medication or contact lenses. Make a note of everything you need to spend money on in order to prepare yourself for full time travel and add this to your Travel Budget Spreadsheet.

6. Create an Emergency travel fund

No-one wants anything bad to happen whilst you are travelling, but unexpected things can occur. You might need to book a flight to get out of a country quickly in the instance of adverse weather, or you might have an accident and need hospital treatment and your insurance company doesn’t pay out upfront. Always make sure that you have an emergency travel fund and DON’T spend it – unless it really is an emergency! (It is also wise to have a couple of credit cards to fall back on in the case of an emergency. This should be in addition to your emergency travel fund, not instead of!) Add the amount you are planning to set aside for emergencies in your Travel Budget Spreadsheet – and keep this money separate to your travel pot!

7. Budget for any ongoing expenses

Ongoing expenses include anything that you will need to continue to pay for, even whilst you are travelling. For example, we have a storage unit full of everything we own, which we pay a monthly direct debit for. I calculated how much money we would need to save in order to continually pay for our storage unit during the time we were away (plus extra months in case we extended our travels!).

Other ongoing expenses may include mortgage payments, insurance policies, an outstanding phone contract which you need to pay off, a Netflix subscription etc. No matter how small, add all ongoing expenses to your Travel Budget Spreadsheet. Make sure you calculate how much money you will need in order to continuously cover these expenses for the duration of your trip (or however long you need to keep making the payments for). The money needed for ongoing expenses should be in a completely separate bank account to your travel budget pot. This ensures that you always have money to cover these direct debits.

Task: Add all ongoing expenses to your Travel Budget Spreadsheet and account for these when saving

8. Plan for a ‘coming home’, post-travels budget

I know, you’ve not even started your travels and I’m talking about coming home! This seems super boring, but the last thing you want after your travels are over is to get home to absolutely nothing. Plan to put a little aside so that you have some money when you come home to help set yourself up again. For example, you might need to put some money aside to buy a new car, or for the first couple of month’s deposit in a rental unit.

Task: Write down things you would need to pay for upon your return and add an estimated cost for this to your Travel Budget Spreadsheet. (I would also make sure that you keep this money in a separate bank account to your travel pot, so that you aren’t tempted to dip into it)!

9. Decide on a date to start travelling

Now you know how much money you need to save for your trip, plan how long that will take you to save. Set up a direct debit into your savings account, or open up a specific ‘travel account’ and transfer money into there each week, fortnight or month.

Having a goal of how much you need to save and a date to work towards will make it easier for you to focus on saving for your travels. Be realistic with your timeline. If you want to set off sooner, make a plan for how this could be possible for you.

My husband and I chose not to work. We made a conscious decision to take some time out, away from our busy careers and simply enjoy travelling. We planned for this from the beginning and we were really strict with ourselves, sticking to our plan to save.

Of course, this may not suit everyone and if you don’t want to wait until you have saved enough, or perhaps you want to be able to travel with no end date, then that’s great! But make sure that you plan for that too. Could you save 50% of what you need initially, then work remotely to earn more as you go? There are lots of ways to earn money online whilst you’re travelling. Or, depending on the country you are in, you could also get a working visa to help top up your travel pot.

You could also consider joining a Workaway program where you work for a few hours a day in return for free accommodation. Or how about being a house sitter or dog sitter, if you don’t mind staying in one place for a few weeks? These are all great ways to get free accommodation which is a great help to your budget.

A woman in an infinity pool, surrounded by jungle views, Ubud, Bali

How to keep your travel budget on track (and not overspend!)

You’ve spent many months saving hard and finally the time has come for you to set off on your travels! (YAY!) Whilst it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of travelling (of course you should be excited, travel is the best!), it is important that you keep a track of your spending. It sounds boring, but trust me, you don’t want to find out that you’ve spent all your hard earned money too quickly and now have to cut your trip short.

So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, here’s my 3 top tips for keeping track of your travel budget whilst travelling:

1. Track your daily travel spend

Don’t worry, I won’t be suggesting that you fill in a spreadsheet everyday (although you can if you want to!). I use the Travel Spend app religiously, in fact I’m a little bit obsessed with it! It is without a doubt my favourite travel app. There’s a paid version where you can have multiple trips displaying at once, and add your own custom categories, but to be honest, I’ve been fine with just using the free version for the past year.

I prefer to have a new entry on the travel spend app by country, as I have different daily budgets for each country. To get started, simply add the name of the country you are starting in, add the total budget you have set yourself for that country, as well as the beginning and end dates you are there. The app will then automatically calculate what your daily spend should be based on your total budget and number of days – this should match the daily budget figure you have on your Travel Budget Spreadsheet.

Each time I buy something, I enter it onto the app, even if it’s just a single bottle of water. The app will total how much you have spent that day, as well as showing you how much of your total budget you have remaining.

Try not to get too caught up on what you have spent each day, as some days you will go over budget and some days you will go under. You need to focus on the ‘daily average spend’, and as long as this matches (or is close to) the figure you have budgeted for, you are on track.

2. Record your total spend per location

Once your time is up in a country or destination, record your total spend in your Travel Budget Spreadsheet. This is a good way to keep track of your actual spend and you can also compare it against the budget you had forecast for that destination to see if you were significantly over or under budget.

Noticing any discrepancies in this way will allow you to make any adjustments you might need to the rest of your budget. For example, if you are under budget, you know that you can afford to have a couple of treats in your next destination. But if you have gone way over budget, you need to look at where you can claw back some money, or decide to earn some extra money as you travel.

If you are travelling to several destinations, and are using the free version of the Travel Spend app, you will need to delete your current country in the app in order to record your spend in a new country. So, just make sure that you have inputted your total spend into your Travel Budget Spreadsheet before deleting that country in the app!

3. Make any adjustments needed to your ongoing expenses budget

If any of the regular payments you are making as ‘ongoing expenses’ change, you will need to adjust this in your spreadsheet and make sure that you have enough in your ‘ongoing expenses’ pot to cover any additional costs or price rises on things like storage unit hire, insurance or subscriptions.

A couple ocean kayaking with tree-covered limestone islands behind them

So there you have it, my step by step guide to creating and managing your travel budget, along with top tips for keeping your spending on track!

Creating a travel budget doesn’t need to be complicated, the hardest part is saving! Even then, if you are determined to travel and you’re focused on the end goal, then the saving part won’t feel too much of a chore either. Make sure you check out my 12 simple tips to save for full time travel.

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The Travel Quandary

The Ultimate Trip Planner Template – Easy To Use Excel Format!

You’re about to embark on your next adventure – hooray! 

Travel planning comes naturally to some who thrive on the challenge to find the best deal on a tour, stay at the coolest hotel or dine at the hottest new restaurant. These travellers are always at the airport on time, check opening hours of attractions before leaving home and have packing down to a fine art form. On the other end of the scale, there are travellers who prefer to go with the flow, do things spontaneously and are happy to rock up to a new destination and “wing it”.

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), 1.4 billion people travelled internationally in 2018. And apparently, there are over 750 million users of Microsoft Excel worldwide. There’s a high chance that you’ll fall into both of these categories (we don’t know the exact number but it would make for a pretty neat Venn diagram). And if you also classify yourself as an “unprepared” and/or “unorganised” traveller, our trip planner template is designed to help YOU.

Microsoft Excel is not only used by accountants and finance people. Microsoft Excel has become the ultimate planning and analysis tool, recognised and used worldwide which is why we’ve chosen it to create our trip planner template. We hope you find it useful and welcome your feedback and recommendations!

The Ultimate Trip Planner Template - Easy To Use Excel Format! | trip planner template 1


Why use a spreadsheet to plan your trip.

  • Identify gaps in your itinerary (closures, public holidays, mandatory reservations)
  • Save money (better budget decisions, better choices on trip)
  • To get you excited! You’re going on a holiday! Hooray!

Download your free trip planner template here

Note: For Google Docs template, download the .zip file and upload the spreadsheet to your Google Drive. Once uploaded, open with Google Sheets.

Using this spreadsheet

The Ultimate Trip Planner Template is built into a spreadsheet which is divided into six sections. We’ve built this trip planner to include 16 days of travel but you can adjust the length of the trip by adding or removing columns in the spreadsheet.

Once you’ve confirmed your travel plans, add them here. This is where you can record all your reservations – flight details, accommodation, car rental, equipment rental, tour reservations etc. Listing them on one tab means you can quickly jump in and find those important details when you need them.

2. Planning

Researching airlines, hotels, Airbnbs, car hire, tour operators and travel insurance policies can be exhausting. You’ll probably go through a phase where you’ll have so many tabs open on your browser, it’ll make you want to pull your hair out! If you also need to compare prices and dates with your travel companions, it can become downright overwhelming.

When you find a potential option you like, add it to the “Planning” tab. When your research is condensed into a neat summary, it will be a simple exercise of reviewing all possible suppliers, key dates and prices and then after a process of elimination, you will be left with the most suitable option.

A budget is by no means set in stone. Our budget tab is designed to help with your travel planning decisions. We feel that it is important to understand the costs of a holiday before making any hasty decisions. And we consider it even more important that you don’t spend beyond your means!

We don’t want to sound like party-poopers but the last thing you want is to get ripped off and/or find yourself stuck abroad without any money. By understanding where you plan to spend the bulk of your hard-earned money on your holiday, you can plan where you’ll allow yourself to splurge and other areas where you may need to tighten the purse strings.

For example, we give ourselves extra budget for food and coffee experiences as this is an aspect we love about travelling. We tend to book budget/basic accommodation on the road depending on the destination and available options, as all we need is a bed, access to a (preferably) hot shower in a secure room.

A good chunk of your budget will already be paid or known in advance before you’ve even left home (i.e. flights, some ground transport, accommodation, tours (if applicable) etc), so this should also help when allocating your budget to food, shopping and extras. There will also be times where you need to be strict and say “no” if your gut feeling and bank account tell you that you cannot afford a certain something. Be conservative but also be kind to yourself – you are treating yourself to a holiday after all and you’ll have to spend money to fully enjoy the experience!

4. Itinerary

We spend a lot of time planning our travel itineraries on a day by day basis and even breaking it down to each hour of each day. Some people call us crazy but when we are short on time and have an extensive list of things to see/do/eat/shop etc, we prefer to be organised.

Laying out our trip day by day also helps us to block out periods of time for travel or to take note of when restaurants and attractions are closed. Of course, plans can and will change. Rain may force you indoors (museums, galleries, shopping) or an unknown public holiday may disrupt your planned travel day.

We recommend using this tab to roughly outline your plans and drop in the activities and places you simply cannot miss. You can move activities to different days if your original plan doesn’t work out. If you want, record your daily expenses at the bottom and you can track how your actual spending goes against your budget.

5. Packing List

For those who begrudge packing, it tends to be the case that you will end up wearing 20% of your packed belongings during 80% of your trip. Or if you’ve left packing until the last minute and thrown items higgledy-piggledy into your suitcase, you’ll arrive at your accommodation to realise you’ve forgotten your favourite undies or packed the wrong shoes.

Packing lists work. Once you’ve considered the weather and climate at your destination, your baggage allowance plus the duration of your trip, you can plan what you need and limit unnecessary purchases on the other side.

We’ve compiled a pretty epic packing list covering practically every type of adventure and possibly everything that you may need. Feel free to adjust accordingly to your requirements.

6. Checklist

This is the final step before you walk out your front door to embark on a brand new adventure. Before you go, use this tab to ensure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. And then you’re off!

Bon voyage!


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28 thoughts on “the ultimate trip planner template – easy to use excel format”.

HOLY COW I cannot believe I found EVERYTHING I needed all in one for FREE. I feel like I have ROBBED someone! My partner and I never grew up in households where family vacations were had, so we have no idea what were doing. Thank you kindly to The Travel Quandary. If I can donate, share your page, volunteer, etc. let me know how I can repay <3


How you extend the dates! I am going for a month

This template is so great! Planning a trip to New Zealand and will be traveling around a lot – this is super helpful!


Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your files!

Thanks so much for the template. This is a very good start for a traveller like me. Easy to use!

Amazing template! Exactly what I needed. Thank you!

Thank you for the great tool! I was wondering if theres a way to enter an end date as well to the itenerary?

Hi there! I was wrapped to see that the template is created by some Aussies! and local ones as well. I’m from Melbourne! Template is a charm! Just what I’ve been looking for ages! Planning our Europe trip for 2023 that got cancelled in 2020! (We all know why!!) Will let you know how it goes and will definitely check out your website! Thanks,

Hi Rosanna, we’re so glad to hear that you’ve found this template useful! Very jealous that you’re planning an escapade to Europe. No doubt it will be amazing! Safe travels 🙂

Thankyou for your post on THE ULTIMATE TRIP PLANNER TEMPLATE on excel. It is very usefull. I have been using this template to plan my trips for a while now and it has saved me a lot of time. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a travel planner.

Didn’t work. At least, not on my version of excel.

something about “delimited” something or another.

Hi Piotr, We’re sorry to hear this. What version of excel are you using? Are you on a Mac or PC? If you wish, we can email you an Excel copy of the template.

So so sooo helpful! I’m happy to find this great itinerary template! Thank you so much.

Thanks Tahira! We’re so glad that you found it helpful. Enjoy your travels! 🙂

Hi Tahira, we’re thrilled you found this template helpful. Enjoy your travels!

I needed this so much, easy and simply. Thank you for a great spreadsheet.

Thanks Nga! Happy travel planning!

Hi Nga, we’re so glad you loved this spreadsheet. Hope you had an amazing travel adventure!

Thank you , soooo much ! I appreciate you putting this together and sharing it

Hi Priscilla! So glad that you found this planning template useful! We hope you enjoy your trip!

I am so excited to find this. (Thank you, Pinterest!) I will be leaving in a month on an eight day train trip and this is exactly what I needed to get all my ducks in a row. Thank you so much!

HiTeresa! We’re so glad to hear this and so exciting for you. Enjoy your trip!

This is great! Found this as i was looking for a newer travel planner and this is very helpful and user friendly!

We’re so glad to hear this! Happy travel planning!

great tool. never used a planner before and it has most every item to consider… add a route sheet for those who driving to, during and back from their vacations…

Glad you like it and thanks for the feedback. We’ll look into adding a new tab for routes.

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Travel Budget Template

Whether you’re a professional travel agent, managing the company travel budget, or a very diligent family trip planner, manage your budget in a professional online spreadsheet with Jotform’s free Travel Budget Template! To get started, fill out the attached form with your budget for expenses like transportation, food and drink, lodging, insurance, event tickets, and more. The info will auto-populate in your spreadsheet, which you can view and manage on any device.

Want to see your information in a different way? Feel free to customize the spreadsheet by adding new rows, columns, tabs, and color-coded labels, or switch to card or calendar view to review your budget by date or spending type. And if you’d like to add up your totals, do it automatically with Jotform’s formula calculation feature! No more pen-and-paper budgeting — get professional and manage your budget online with this free Travel Budget Template.

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Organizing for a trip or vacation is the most tedious thing to do. Travel budgets will help you determine, in advance, whether you have enough money to spend on your vacation. Travel budgets that excel in saving money should include the expected expenses such as food, accommodation, leisure activities, transportation, and other miscellaneous items. These budget templates help you make and organize your expenses in a way you can save more money before and also, after your trip.

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Ten Best Travel Budget Template Excel Free Spreadsheet

A travel budget template excel sheet is a great way to keep track of your travel expenses. It helps you to know how much you have left in your budget and what you can do with that money. You can use this travel budget template excel spreadsheet to keep track of your travel expenses by adding each item and then totaling the amount at the bottom. It is also helpful to keep track of the different types of expenses you have so that you can figure out where your money is going.

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  • Best Budgeting Apps

Compare the Top Budgeting Apps

  • Budgeting App Reviews
  • Introduction
  • Features to Look for
  • How to Choose an App
  • Setting Up and Using an App
  • Pros and Cons
  • Alternatives
  • Why You Should Trust Us

Best Budgeting Apps of July 2024: Manage Your Finances Efficiently

Affiliate links for the products on this page are from partners that compensate us and terms apply to offers listed (see our advertiser disclosure with our list of partners for more details). However, our opinions are our own. See how we rate products and services to help you make smart decisions with your money.

Budgeting can already feel difficult, but with the right money management tool, you should be able to track your spending habits, find ways to spend less and save more, or budget effectively as a couple.

Quicken Quicken Simplifi

50% off for new customers (offer ends July 14, 2024)

$3.99 monthly subscription or $47.88 annual subscription

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Connect all your bank accounts, investments accounts, and credit cards
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Help you save for individual savings goals
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create a budget
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Track expenses
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. 30-day money-back guarantee
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Must buy a subscription (no free option)

Quicken Simplifi is a great budgeting tool if you want to create a detailed monthly spending and savings plan and don't mind paying for a subscription. If you would rather get a budgeting app that doesn't have a subscription fee, you'll have to consider other options.

  • Up to 50% off on Simplifi for all new customers
  • Stay on top of your finances in under 5 minutes per week.
  • Check your custom budgeting plan — anytime, anywhere!
  • Track your spending
  • See where your money is going and discover places to save.
  • Keep your bills in check
  • Find subscriptions you don't use and start saving from day one.

Check out our picks for the best budgeting apps, and read more about how we chose the winners.

Best Budgeting Apps of July 2024

  • Rocket Money : Best overall for reducing spending and creating a budget
  • Monarch Money : Best for saving toward financial goals
  • Quicken Simplifi : Best for robust budgeting features
  • Honeydue App: Best for couples

The top budgeting apps have a straightforward sign-up process, a decent fee structure, strong budgeting tools, and an overall positive user experience. Learn more about the best budgeting apps, below.

Rocket Money Rocket Money

Free to create a budget. Subscription fee applies to premium services.

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Connect all your bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts to track spending
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Bill negotiation feature
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Free plan available
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Limited features available with free plan
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Limited customer support availability

Rocket Money is featured in our best budgeting apps guide. While the Rocket Money app is free, there is a subscription fee if you want to use Premium features, like concierge services or premium chat.

Monarch Money Monarch Money

Offers a 7-day free trial

Premium Plan with a 7-day free-trial, then $14.99 per month or $99.99 annually

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Link bank accounts
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create unlimited budgets and make customizable categories
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Track individual savings goals
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Graphs and charts that track your spending and savings
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. No free plan

Monarch Money is an overall solid option if you prioritize creating monthly budgets and saving for individual savings goals. The main downside of the app is that it doesn't offer a free plan. You'll have to a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Honeydue Honeydue App

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Budgeting app for couples
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Can have individual and shared finances
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create monthly bill reminders
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Can discuss finances through chat feature
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Only available through mobile app

Honeydue is featured in our best budgeting apps guide as the best option for couples. It's a great option if you don't want to pay a fee. It also allows you to have individual and shared finances.

Top Budgeting App Reviews

Budgeting looks different for everyone, so we selected four picks for budgeting apps. We selected a well-rounded budgeting app, one designed for couples, another that's appealing for setting goals, and lastly one with more detailed budgeting features.

We have a mix of free budgeting apps and ones that have premium plans with subscription fees, so you can choose an option based on your financial needs and priorities.

Best Overall: Rocket Money

Rocket Money (previously known as TrueBill) is our best budgeting app overall because it has a variety of tools to help you save and limit spending.

Rocket Money has both a free plan and a premium plan. With the free plan, you'll be able to link bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts to track spending and you'll also be able to create a budget .

The premium plan includes concierge services, which review your bills and subscriptions to help you cancel or get refunds for these services on your behalf. It also includes premium customer chat, unlimited budgets, customizable budget categories, a savings account, real-time updated syncing, and a credit score report.

The app's standout feature is Bill Negotiation. You'll upload a copy of your bill, and Rocket Money will determine whether you can get the same service with the company for a lower price. Rocket Money may also help you get refunds if you're charged bank overdraft fees or late fees.

When Rocket Money negotiates a bill, you'll have to pay a percentage (you may choose any amount from 30% to 60%) of whatever it will save you for the year. If you plan to change your internet, cable, phone, or wireless provider in the next year, you could end up losing money, though.

Pricing: You may choose how much to pay each month through a sliding scale. Rocket Money has a free plan that's $0. The Premium plan has a 7-day free trial; after the free trial, you'll have to pay around $6 to $12 per month (the lower-price plans are billed annually instead of monthly).

Rocket Money Review

Best for Couples: Honeydue App

Honeydue is a budgeting app designed specifically for couples. The sign-up process is short and simple — you'll create an account by setting up your email, then invite your partner to Honeydue.

Honeydue allows you to see both your individual and shared finances in one place. You also have to option of setting limits to how much your partner can see. When you connect a bank account to the app, you may choose to share both balance and transaction information, share information only, or share no information.

With Honeydue, you can organize your finances by creating monthly bill reminders or discussing personal financial information through the app's chat feature.

If you would like an additional place to store money for a common goal, like a holiday budget or a couple's vacation.

You won't be able to access Honeydue through your computer; it's only available through a mobile app. Some of our other top picks have both online and mobile platforms for more convenience.

Regular Pricing: Free

Best for Saving for Financial Goals: Monarch Money

Monarch Money may be worthwhile if you are looking for a budgeting app that helps you save for financial goals and create a budget. It's also become one of the most hyped-up Mint alternatives among Redditor users since Mint shut down.

Through Monarch Money, you'll be able to make unlimited personalized savings goals . You can customize goals, organize them by order of importance, and link them to bank accounts. The app also helps you create a zero-based budget, track your net worth, and analyze your cash flow.

Monarch Money doesn't have a free plan. You can try out a 7-day free trial. However, after that, you'll need to pay a subscription fee. If you do not want to pay a subscription fee for a budgeting app, you'll want to consider one of our other picks.

Regular Pricing: Premium Plan with a 7-day free-trial, then $14.99 per month or $99.99 annually

Best for Robust Budgeting Features: Quicken Simplifi

Quicken Simplifi might be a good choice if you want a budgeting app that provides a detailed breakdown of your spending and savings.

In addition to letting you create budgets with customizable categories and make individual savings goals, Quicken Simplifi analyzes your spending and savings through charts and data.

You can receive monthly reports for spending, general income, income after expenses, savings, and net worth . You can also now check your credit score through the web application if you have early access (This feature is currently only available to U.S. residents). Checking your credit score through Simplifi won't affect it.

The one major downside to this app is that it doesn't have a free plan. You'll have to pay a subscription fee, although you can try the app for 30 days with a money-back guarantee.

There's also a special promotion available right now — 50% off for new customers (offer ends July 14, 2024).

Regular Pricing: $3.99 monthly subscription or $47.88 annual subscription

Quicken Simplfi Review

Budgeting App Trustworthiness and BBB Ratings

We review the ethics of each company so you can see if a specific financial institution aligns with your values.

We also include the settlement history of the last 3 years so you're aware of any recent public controversies involving the bank.

We include ratings from the Better Business Bureau to evaluate how companies address customer issues and handle transparency.

Rocket Money has a B rating due to a high volume of customer complaints.

Honeydue has an F rating because it hasn't responded to three customer complaints and it hasn't been in operation for a long time.

Quicken has an F rating because it has received a high volume of customer complaints filed, and failed to respond to 13 customer complaints.

A good BBB rating won't guarantee you'll have a good relationship with a company. You also might want to read customer reviews or talk to current customers before making your decision.

Intuit does have some public issues surrounding its tax-filing software, TurboTax.

Introduction to Budgeting Apps

Why use a budgeting app.

A budgeting app can help you understand where you spend your money. It's also useful for building and maintaining an effective budget.

The top budgeting apps let you create a monthly budget using customizable categories.

Many also help you save money effectively . For example, budgeting apps use your transaction history to make charts and graphs. You can use this information to analyze your spending patterns and figure out where to make adjustments in your budget.

Key Benefits of Budgeting Apps

The primary benefit of using a budgeting app is that it gives you a big-picture view of your financial situation.

Many budgeting apps let you link different types of bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards , and loans. You'll be able to see all your accounts in one place and see how you're spending versus saving.

Budgeting apps also help you build better money habits. If you've struggled to maintain a budget in the past, it might be easier to track your spending on an app than completely on your own. Budgeting apps do the work for you by syncing all your accounts — you just need to make sure everything is synced correctly and make small adjustments when they aren't.

Features to Look for in a Budgeting App

User-friendly interface.

A good budgeting app has a design format that's easy to use. The app should load quickly and make it easy to get started. You should be able to create a budget on your own without much help. If you encounter technical difficulties, you should also easily be able to contact a customer representative through the app.

Syncing with Bank Account

Many easy-to-use budgeting apps for beginners allow you to sync savings accounts, checking accounts , investment accounts, or credit cards.

Apps often use Plaid to link bank accounts. Plaid can connect more than 11,000 U.S. banks and credit unions, including the best banks .

Expense Tracking

Once bank accounts are linked, your spending will be updated on the app so you have up-to-date information. A strong budgeting app will provide updates frequently, and during the same day so you can stay on top of your budget.

Customizable Budgeting Categories

Many budgeting apps allow you to create a zero-balance budget. With a zero-balance budget, you're figuring out where every dollar of your income is going. You can create budget categories for every expense. You can also create savings goals if you're setting aside money for a specific purpose, like a down payment on a home or a future vacation.

A good budgeting app allows you to make customizable budgeting categories rather than pre-set categories. That way, you can make a budget that's tailored to your life and make categories as broad or specific as you want.

Charts and Visual Analysis Features

A top budgeting app analyzes your habits so you can see how you manage your money over time. Some apps provide charts of your monthly budget so you can see how your categories compare to one another. Others might have visuals to indicate how much money you have left to spend in a certain category for that month.

Several budgeting apps also provide reports for broader areas of your finances. For example, you might be able to view your cash flow balance over several months or how your money in your retirement plans has grown over time.

How to Choose the Best Budgeting App for You

To find the right budgeting app, you need to know what features you're looking for. Are you looking for ways to cut back on spending? Do you want a free plan or a subscription plan for your budgeting app? Do you want a detailed breakdown of your finances or more of a general overview? Knowing the answers to these questions can help narrow down your options.

If you have your eye on a few budgeting apps, you can try out the free trials or free versions of each before settling on the right one. That way, you can see if the interface is also user-friendly and manageable for the long-term.

Setting Up and Using a Budgeting App

Step-by-step guide to setting up your budgeting app.

To use a budgeting app, you'll have to download it through the Android or Apple store. To set up most budgeting apps, you'll enter your name and email address. If the app charges a subscription fee, it will prompt you to sign up for a plan or free trial.

The best budgeting apps will walk you through the app's different features and help you get started. You'll typically be prompted to link accounts. Then, you can create a budget or set savings goals.

Tips for Effective Budgeting with the Apps

If you're new to budgeting apps, it may be helpful to start off with some structure.

For example, you could use a popular savings method like the 50/30/20 rule or pay-yourself-first strategy.

The 50/30/20 rule breaks down your budgeting, so 50% goes to needs, 30% goes to wants, and 20% goes to debt or savings. The pay-yourself-first strategy focuses on savings — you'll automatically transfer money from your paycheck to some of your savings and then distribute what's left over to your expenses.

Another tip for effective budgeting is to look at your expenses to see if they reflect your financial goals and values. If you have certain goals that are of higher priority than others, find ways to reduce spending in categories that aren't a priority for you. That might mean waiting before making a purchase, creating a meal plan or grocery list to limit spending on food, or auditing your subscriptions to see if there are any you can cancel.

Common Mistakes to Avoid on Budgeting Apps

Experts recommend trying out a budgeting app's free plan or free trial before committing to an annual plan.

There are many budgeting apps out there, so you want to try to find the one that best aligns with your financial needs. Testing a few apps can help you decide the best one, and it also keeps you from paying too much for a budgeting app that you won't end up using.

Pros and Cons of Budgeting Apps

Alternatives to budgeting apps, budgeting apps vs. spreadsheet or diy budgeting methods.

You may prefer building a spreadsheet budget if you don't want to link all of your bank accounts or credit cards in a mobile app. However, setting up and maintaining your budget will primarily hinge on how much work you're willing to put into it.

A budgeting app does the tracking for you. With a spreadsheet, you'll have to either start from scratch or use a template. Either way, a budgeting app still offers more comprehensive features.

Budgeting Apps vs. Personal Finance Software

Budgeting apps and personal finance software share the same features. The best option for you will depend on whether you have preferences on the tool's accessibility.

A budgeting app is primarily designed for mobile experiences. Some apps also have an online dashboard which you can access through your computer, but it is always something that's offered.

Meanwhile, personal finance software is designed for computer access. You'll either download the software to a desktop or use an online platform. Some will also have apps, but some features might not be available.

Budgeting Apps vs. Savings Accounts with Goals Features

Some of the best online banks have added unique features to their savings accounts to help customers with goal-setting.

If you're specifically looking for a way to save for goals, it may benefit you to get a savings account with buckets . Buckets are customizable tools that separate your savings so you can save for specific goals. Since they are an integrated bank account feature, they also might be easier to manage than a budgeting app.

If you would rather have more robust budgeting tools, a budgeting app will likely still stand out to you. Budgeting apps also connect investment accounts, credit cards, and loans, so you'll be able to see everything in one place.

Budgeting App FAQs

A budgeting app is beneficial for tracking expenses and sticking to a budget. It can also help you save for financial goals and prevent lifestyle creep .

To choose the best budgeting app for your needs, consider what your financial goals are and how a budgeting app can best help you achieve them. If you need help cutting back on expenses, you might consider a budgeting app with bill negotiation features. If you need help with savings, you might prioritize an app that helps with goal-setting features.

Most budgeting apps have encryption to store data, making them secure to use if you're linking your accounts. To keep your username and password safe, budgeting apps might also have multi-factor authentication so they can verify your identity when you're logging in.

A budgeting app can help you understand your financial situation so you can create a budget that saves you money over time. These apps can help you find areas where you can reduce your spending. Some also offer a bill negotiation feature so you can see if you can save money on subscriptions.

Yes, there are free budgeting apps available in the Apple and Android stores, though they typically have more limited features than apps with paid subscriptions. The best free budgeting app is Honeydue, which is specifically for couples.

Mint shut down in March 2024. You'll have to switch to Credit Karma if you want to continue using an Intuit personal finance platform, or you can switch to an alternative budgeting app.

In most cases, the best budgeting app for beginners will be one that makes budgeting easy — this means it has an easy-to-use interface and links to your accounts, so you don't have to enter every transaction manually. It can also be good to have an app that teaches you about money.

Rocket Money is our best budgeting app overall, and it has a free plan. If you're in a couple, our top pick is Honeydue which is also free to download.

Why You Should Trust Us: Experts' Advice on the Best Budgeting Apps

We consulted banking and financial planning experts to inform these picks and provide their advice on finding the budgeting app for your needs.

  • Sophia Acevedo, banking editor, Business Insider
  • Mykail James, MBA, certified financial education instructor,

Here's what they had to say about budgeting apps. (Some text may be lightly edited for clarity.)

What should I look for in a budgeting app?

Mykail James, MBA, certified financial education instructor, :

"My best tip for people who are looking to start using a budgeting app is to figure out what you're missing in your financial system. For example, if you are a person who knows that you want to stick to a zero-based budget, and you've been doing that manually, but you need maybe a little bit more help with the organization, then you can center your focus on searching for apps specifically solve your problem."

Sophia Acevedo, banking editor, Business Insider :

"I would look for features that would help me with my goals. Like if I'm trying to curb spending, I would look for a budgeting app that helps me minimize payments in certain spending areas."

How do I know if a budgeting app is right for me?

Mykail James, MBA, CFEI:

"Give it time. Every budgeting app is going to feel uncomfortable during the first month. Give it at least three months before deciding if it's not something for you. Actively try and use it before considering a switch."

Sophia Acevedo, CEPF:

"I would first try out the free version and see how it works. Some budgeting apps are entirely free, while others have different plans or trials at a variety of price points."

Methodology: How Did We Choose the Best Budgeting Apps?

At Business Insider, we aim to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that "best" is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product, we outline the limitations, too.

First, we compiled a list of 18 popular budgeting apps available in both the Google Play Store and Apple Store.

Then, we reviewed each budgeting app for a week. To determine our top picks, we reviewed the initial sign-up process, pricing, budgeting tools, and user experience. We also considered whether each app accomplished everything it advertised, and how regular users reviewed the product on the Apple and Google Play store.

simple travel budget template

  • Bank accounts
  • Savings and CD rate trends
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards .

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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  1. Travel Budget Template Printable in PDF and Word

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    Description. This travel budget template makes it easy to enter your travel expenses for your next trip. The top section allows you to set a total budget, and as you enter your travel costs you can quickly see where the money is going, how much extra you'll have, or how much you'll need to add to your budget. The worksheet is set up to let you ...

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    The Travel Budget Template is a helpful tool for any traveler. It allows you to plan and track where and how you spend your money. We wish you a pleasant stay, unforgettable impressions, and the fulfillment of your cherished desires! Sections available in this template: Destination; Total Budget; Total Spent; Accommodation (Budget, Spent, Total);

  10. Free Travel Budget Template for Google Sheets (2024 Update)

    Step 2: Filling Out Estimated Costs. Open your Google Sheets travel budget template. Navigate to the "Estimated Cost" column (Column B) next to each category (Accommodation, Transportation, Food, etc.). Based on your research or past experiences, enter the estimated amount you expect to spend for each category.

  11. Free Vacation Budget Planner

    Free. Vacation Budget Planner. Prepare for upcoming trips with Jotform's free vacation budget planner. Great for travel planners or for personal use. Add your budget info through an online form, a CSV or Excel file, or enter details manually into a secure, collaborative spreadsheet. It's free!

  12. How to Create a Travel Budget (Free Spreadsheet Template)

    When travelling to Australia, you must have a valid UK passport and an ETA visa, which costs between $150-$300. This allows you to travel in Australia for 90 days within a 365-day period. When travelling to Europe, it is currently free for UK citizens. However, this is expected to change in November 2024.

  13. Free Travel Budget Templates And Worksheets (Excel)

    This article will outline what your travel budget should include and provide you with a travel budget template. Pre-budgeting Considerations. ... consider getting a hotel room with a kitchen and then purchase groceries so you can prepare some simple meals. To give yourself a fully immersive travel experience, you should budget some money mainly ...

  14. Free Travel Budget Templates for Excel

    Given below are free templates: Travel Budget Template 01. Travel Budget Template 02. Holiday Budget Planner Template. Business Trip Budget Planner Template. Travel Budget Template 03. Travel Budget Template 04.

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    Then, make adjustments to the budget as necessary to match it up with your financial profile. Here are the steps for best creating a travel budget and distributing funds according to your needs. 1 ...

  16. How to Create a Trip Planning Spreadsheet [5 Free Templates]

    Step 1: Make Multiple Tabs on Your Spreadsheet. Step 2: Add Column Headers. Step 3: Personalize Your Travel Planning Spreadsheet. When to Use a Trip Planner Template. Free Google Sheets Trip Planner Templates. 1. Daily Itinerary Planner Spreadsheet. 2. Travel Budget Template.

  17. FREE: Travel Budget Planner, Guide and Calculator

    Travel Budget Planner and Calculator, Our Comprehensive guide with FREE Excel budget template. In this article I'll first outline the budget considerations for a backpacking trip. Following this I'll offer some budget examples and you can download our FREE Excel travel budget planner calculator template to figure out your own budget estimate.

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    Click Download Button To Get Travel Budget Excel Template. Download Now. Instruction : All Excel templates and tools are sole property of User can only download and use the excel templates for their Personal use only. All templates provided by XLSX templates are free and no payment is asked.

  19. How to budget for full time travel

    Creating your Travel Budget in 9 simple steps: 1. Decide on your destination (s) Deciding where you would like to travel to is one of the first steps you should make when starting to budget for full time travel. Your destination (s) will have a huge impact on how much you need to save.

  20. FREE! Trip Planner Template in Excel Format

    Helps remove the stress of travel planning. FREE Trip Planner Template in easy-to-use Microsoft Excel format. Download and upload to Google Sheets. ... it will be a simple exercise of reviewing all possible suppliers, key dates and prices and then after a process of elimination, you will be left with the most suitable option. 3. Budget.

  21. Travel Budget Template

    Cloned 1,955. See Demo. Whether you're a professional travel agent, managing the company travel budget, or a very diligent family trip planner, manage your budget in a professional online spreadsheet with Jotform's free Travel Budget Template! To get started, fill out the attached form with your budget for expenses like transportation, food ...

  22. 18+ Travel Budget Template in Google Docs

    In case you are planning for a trip soon, then you must check out this travel budget worksheet template to manage your travel budget according to your plan. Budget expenses on your flight, hotel, meals, and others can all be included in this budget worksheet templates.This template makes it easier for you to make your entries and plan your trip accordingly.

  23. Ten Best Travel Budget Template Excel Free Spreadsheet

    Free Dwonload. 3. Travel Account Book Excel Template. Make your travel fully managed with this simply beautiful travel excel template. It allows you to calculate all of the expenses you have while traveling. Grab this wonderful template for free. Try this template in WPS and save in Word doc: Free Dwonload. 4.

  24. Best Budgeting Apps of July 2024: Top Picks, Features, and Benefits

    Discover the best budgeting apps of July 2024. Our picks are free or have low subscription fees. We give expert insights on using a budgeting app.